Bathrooms on skid row gone after only being open for three months
It took over a decade to open public bathrooms on skid row, which was seen as a possible turning point for the homeless people living there. However, after more than three months of operation, the trailers with toilets and showers on skid row shut down in late March for a planned expansion that has yet to happen. The issues with the promised bathrooms for homeless people raises questions about whether logistical problems and excessive bureaucracy are contributing to Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis. Pete White of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, a skid row anti-poverty group, states,
If we can’t get something as simple as mobile restrooms up and running, that doesn’t give me a lot of faith the city can produce the leadership needed to produce housing units.
The Skid Row Community Improvement Coalition, a grass roots group, worked with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office to open the ReFresh Spot in December in temporary trailers. Both the city and county planned on expanding bathroom access to eliminate the human waste and smell of urine that businesses and residents have been complaining about. They also wanted to reduce homeless people’s isolation in order to get them ready for housing and jobs. The plan was that the showers and bathrooms would be expanded and laundry facilities would be added when permanent trailers arrived. According to organizers, the transition and state approvals have taking longer than expected, which has resulted in missing several tentative dates to reopen the ReFresh spot. Hopefully, the ReFresh Spot opens up soon so that homeless people can have access to showers and toilets.