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

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