January 18, 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

Video: 25K New Housing Units in LA?

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

With a massive spike in homelessness forecasted, LA lawmakers want to build 25,000 new housing units. Learn more in this...

Illegal Marina del Rey Boat Charters

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

The issue of illegal charters brought up at recent County meeting By Toi Creel Officials recently discussed the issue of...

Edify TV: The Westside’s Best Pies

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Here are some of the best pies on the Westside ahead of National Pie Day on January 23. Learn more...

LAPD Arrests Shoreline Crips Gang Member on Suspicion of Murder In Oakwood Park: YO! Venice Show – January, 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * LAPD Arrests Shoreline Crips Gang Member on Suspicion of Murder In...

Popular Coffee Shop Adding New Westside Storefront

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Westside Food Scene January 14, 2021 By Kerry Slater 65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down  A beloved...

Venice Homeless Encampment Fire Spreads to Boardwalk Building

January 13, 2021

January 13, 2021

Over 100 firefighters respond to Ocean Front Walk fire Tuesday morning By Sam Catanzaro Over 100 firefighters responded this week...

Edify TV: Westside Kids Compete to Keep Beach Clean

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

Westside kids are competing to keep the beach clean! Learn more in this video made possible by Santa Monica College.

One Hospitalized in Marina del Rey Fire

January 11, 2021

January 11, 2021

Fire breaks out Monday morning at MDR apartment complex By Sam Catanzaro One person was injured in a Monday morning...

Edify TV: Over 1,700 Units Proposed for Westside Neighborhood

January 10, 2021

January 10, 2021

Over 1,700 apartment units are planned for a few block radius in a Westside neighborhood. Learn more in this video...

City Planning Approves Venice Boardwalk Apartment Development

January 8, 2021

January 8, 2021

Los Angeles Planning Department advances nine-unit development By Toi Creel The Los Angeles Planning Department has signed off on a...

RV Along Penmar Golf Course Destroyed in Fire

January 7, 2021

January 7, 2021

Vehicle catches fire earlier this week Another RV went up in flames in Venice recently, the second such fire to...