With a cultural tradition of respect and care for elders, leading Chinese residents of Hawaii led a drive in 1896 to establish the Chinese Hospital as “a home for the aged and infirmed.”However, it quickly became apparent that it was undersized. Funds from the Chinese Hospital were later applied to purchase 15 acres in Palolo Valley on which was located the former Gospel Mission Church.
Organized by the Chinese Men’s Committee of the Associated Charities of Hawaii, a predecessor of the Aloha United Way, Palolo Chinese Home was established in 1920 in response to the increasing number of elderly Chinese men in Honolulu who were single, aged, immigrant plantation workers with no families to care for them. The Palolo Chinese Home was administered by the Associated Charities of Hawaii until 1941 when it was incorporated under its own Board of Directors.
Today Palolo Chinese Home is Hawaii’s second oldest Adult Residential Care Home. It is the oldest originally Asian care home in the United States. With an expanded care license granted in the Year 2000, the Palolo Chinese Home now provides a continuum of care allowing its residents to age in place with assistance in living and intermediate/skilled nursing care. In the 1990’s, The Home outreached to the community with its well-organized day care and overnight respite program. At one point, Palolo Chinese Home served over 16,000 hot meals to members in the community as the largest supplier to Hawaii Meals on Wheels.