June 13, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Poop in the Streets of Venice Beach

Councilmember Mike Bonin today called for the City of Los Angeles to dramatically expand access to allow round-the-clock public restrooms in an effort to curb and combat an outbreak of Hepatitis A among the city’s homeless population.

Days after County officials declared a Hepatitis A outbreak and social service agencies and homeless advocates called for public health measures, Bonin submitted a motion asking City officials to identify funding for emergency portable restrooms with attendants, and to explore the creation of a mobile toilet program similar to one operating in San Francisco.

“This is a public health crisis, and we need to act with urgency,” Bonin said. “It is inhumane and unsafe to deny people access to restrooms. It endangers people living on the street, and it endangers neighbors who find human feces in their alleys and on their sidewalks.”

Bonin’s motion’s cited the success of San Francisco’s “Pit Stop” program, which provides mobile bathrooms and sinks at more than a dozen locations. It is modeled after a similar program, Lava Mae, which provides mobile showers for people who are homeless. Lava Mae also started in San Francisco, and Bonin led the effort to bring the program to Los Angeles, where it operates in Venice, Westchester and downtown Los Angeles.

Bonin’s motion also asked City officials to identify funding to open existing and emergency portable toilets 24-7, staffed by attendants. Bonin said that staffing public restrooms with attendants to keep them clean and free of crime is a “best practice” that should be replicated here.

Bonin also urged Department of Recreation and Parks officials to move swiftly to open restrooms at Venice Beach around the clock. Bonin secured funds for the 24-7 restrooms during budget deliberations earlier this year, but the department has yet to start the expanded access.

“Providing clean and safe restroom access is a matter of basic decency–and smart public health policy,” said Bonin. “The recent public health crisis is another frightening reminder of the real costs of continued inaction. We cannot allow red tape to prolong suffering–we must act now to offer people safe places to use the restroom and get cleaned up. This is a solvable problem.”

Many of LA’s estimated 25,000 unsheltered homeless individuals lack access to restroom facilities in the evening. This lack of access has created adverse conditions for the homeless population, service providers and the general public. Without access to the basic right of a restroom, people living on the streets are at a significantly increased risk of contracting diseases like Hepatitis A that are spread through human feces. According to a recent report, there are only nine public restrooms available at night for the individuals living on the streets of Skid Row. Venice Beach faces an even more dire shortage with funding for only one set of beach restrooms. A June report by a group of homeless service providers, advocates and residents found that the conditions do not even meet the standards the United Nations sets for refugee camps.

In addition to funding concerns, there is often a lack of adequate space in dense neighborhoods to place restrooms without encroaching into the public right-of-way. Bonin’s motion directs City departments to evaluate how to permit portable restroom facilities, especially those managed by a social service agency.

Related Posts

Venice Boardwalk Development Appeal Hearing Postponed

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

Appeal hearing for mixed development at 811-815 Ocean Front Walk pushed back to August By Chad Winthrop An appeal hearing...

Wood Framing Complete For Mar Vista Affordable Housing Project

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

Vista Ballona development expected to be completed later this year with 50 units of affordable housing  By Toi Creel Wood...

Venice Boardwalk Encampment Resident Arrested for Violent Attack Against Elderly Performer

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

LAPD announce the arrest of 45-year-old Macio Harger By Sam Catanzaro Police have arrested a homeless man for the violent...

In-Person Events Are Back with Summer Swing Nights: Jazzy Vocals plus Live Big Band – Now with Tap Dance, Swing Lessons, Vendors to Benefit Museum

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

Live, in-person entertainment is bringing out happy fans of all ages for Summer Swing Nights: Drive-In Edition. The concert fundraiser features the...

First Baptist Church Of Venice One Step Closer To Becoming Historic Monument: YO! Venice Show – June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Hunter Biden and Family Move Out of Venice Canals Rental Home...

Mother’s Beach Lifeguard Tower Painted to Raise Awareness for Autism

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

LA County Ocean Lifeguard Scott Snyder paints MDR lifeguard tower to support special needs families By Sam Catanzaro A Mother’s...

Santa Monica Parking Structure to be Replaced by Housing?

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

A Santa Monica parking structure be demolished and replaced with affordable housing. Learn more in this video made possible by Santa...

Venice Pride Big Beach Clean Up This Morning

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

By Timothy. Michael Up early? Well help clean the beach with Venice Pride this morning. In honor of Pride 2021...

Opinion: Real Election Reforms Required as Venice Neighborhood Council Wraps Up 2021 Campaign

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

By Nick Antonicello Why would someone like me who has lived in Venice since 1993 and has been a registered...

PPCC to Fundraise, Retain Counsel in Opposition to Bonin Housing Proposal

June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021

Pacific Palisades Community Council approves raising funds for legal expense, retain counsel in opposition of use of housing proposal  By...

Sinkhole Closes Venice Intersection

June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021

Small sinkhole reported near Venice Boardwalk Thursday By Sam Catanzaro A small sinkhole has led to the closure of an...

Edify TV: Hiring Challenges for Restaurants Ahead of Full Reopening

June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021

“We are having major staffing shortage challenges right now. Everyone is hiring at the same time,” says the owner of...

Three Venice Restaurants Named Among Best is Los Angeles

June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021

The Rose Venice, Felix Trattoria and Gjelina highlighted by Open Table By Kerry Slater Three Venice restaurants have been named...