Bad News for L.A.'s Homelessness Strategy: Public Restroom Plan Falls Apart

The city's failure to deliver public restrooms is not the first sign of trouble for its sweeping homelessness plan, but it’s a painful one for the residents of Skid Row.

June 5, 2018, 11:00 AM PDT

By Elana Eden

Downtown Los Angeles

Grzegorz Czapski / Shutterstock

For years, restrooms and hygiene facilities have been a top request of homeless advocates in Los Angeles’s Skid Row. Advocates say public restrooms are critical for the dignity and health of people without access to private bathrooms, from homeless populations to seniors and other pedestrians.

In 2016, as part of a nascent strategy on homelessness, Los Angeles pledged to create a network of mobile showers across the city, and in December 2017 opened a cluster of temporary facilities in Skid Row. But just months later, the L.A. Times reports, those facilities are gone—prompting big questions about the city's ability to carry out the rest of its comprehensive plan.

The 2016 plan calls for new permanent supportive housing and a number of other housing and shelter programs—enough to prompt the creation of a new "homelessness coordinator" position to juggle it all. But despite the hundreds of millions of dollars allocated for these programs, "the slow and faltering bathroom rollouts raise questions about whether logistical problems and red tape are contributing to Los Angeles' homelessness crisis," the Times warns.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 in Los Angeles Times

Soldier Field

Phase 1 Revealed for $20 Billion Chicago Megaproject

Plans for One Central, a proposed megadevelopment that would add 22.3 million square feet of buildings to the city of Chicago, are taking shape.

October 19, 2021 - Chicago Tribune


Boston Introduces 'Maximum Parking Ratios' for Large Buildings

Large buildings with uses of all kinds will be subject to Boston's new "Maximum Parking Ratios."

October 14, 2021 - Streetsblog Mass

A person in a bright green vest with the words "Covid Marshall" patrols a street fair in Australia.

5 Tips for Planning Safe Post-Pandemic Events

As community events start move off-screen and become available to the public again, here are five ways organizers can ensure public health and safety.

October 13, 2021 - Devin Partida

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.