October 20, 2019 #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

Marina Spooktacular returns, Soulfull Cacao Ceremony & Concert: Yo! Venice Westside Local Show October 18, 2019

October 19, 2019

October 19, 2019

Yo! Venice Westside Local Show October 18, 2019 – all your fun local events and happenings in under 5 minutes*...

40 Units of Permanent Supportive Housing on Lincoln Boulevard?

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Venice Community Housing submits proposal to LA City Planning By Sam Catanzaro An auto repair shop on Lincoln Boulevard in...

Edify TV: Westside Measles Exposure

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has announced that a person with measles visited several Westside businesses this...

Man Who Died on Venice Beach Last Week Identified

October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Cause of Timothy Hutson’s death still unknown By Sam Catanzaro Over the weekend investigators identified a man whose body was...

Body found on Venice beach, Building affordable housing too expensive? House homeless in already built units and temporary shelters? Yo! Venice This Week October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019 1

Yo! Venice This Week October 14, 2019 – all your local news and happenings in under 5 minutes.* Body found...

Prince vs. Bowie silent disco on the Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival: Yo! Venice Westside Local – Oct. 11 2019

October 11, 2019

October 11, 2019

Yo! Venice Westside Local – Oct. 11th 2019 – all your local events and happenings in under 5 minutes.* Prince...

Body Found on Venice Beach

October 9, 2019

October 9, 2019

Body found Wednesday morning By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is investigating a body that was found...

Building Affordable too Costly? Use Existing Units to House Homeless

October 9, 2019

October 9, 2019

Report released showing cost of developing affordable housing in Los Angeles By Sam Catanzaro As the Los Angeles City Controller...

Letter to the Editor: Bringing Homeless into Policymaking?

October 8, 2019

October 8, 2019

Dear Editor: It was ironic to see your cover story (Bringing Homeless into Policymaking? – 9/26/19), with yet another dubious...

Man arrested for stabbing wife on Speedway near Venice Beach, Thatcher Yard development to break ground in 2020: Yo! Venice This Week: October 7

October 7, 2019

October 7, 2019

Yo! Venice This Week: October 7, 2019 – all your local news and happenings in under 5 minutes* Man arrested...

Man Arrested After Repeatedly Stabbing Wife in Venice

October 7, 2019

October 7, 2019

LAPD arrest man on suspicion of murder Friday night By Sam Catanzaro A man was arrested in Venice Beach Friday...

Venice student donates over $1,000 to Bahamas relief effort, Skate, Bike, and Roll Breast Cancer event: Yo! Venice Westside Local October 4 2019

October 4, 2019

October 4, 2019

Yo! Venice Westside Local October 4 2019 – all your fun local events and happenings in under 5 minutes.* Venice...

Thatcher Yard to Break Ground in 2020

October 4, 2019

October 4, 2019 1

98 units of housing for seniors and formally homeless families By Sam Catanzaro According to a report recently released by...

Venice Fifth Grader Raises Over $1,000 for Families Devastated by Hurricane Dorian

October 2, 2019

October 2, 2019

10-year-old Scarlett Johnson raises money for Direct Relief By Keldine Hull As students around the world become more vocal about...