Silver Lake Homeless Getting Map Of Public Restrooms, Mostly In Echo Park
One of the problems that Silver Lake residents have been complaining about as of late is that the homeless are urinating and defecating on their lawns. And in an effort to curb that, the neighborhood council plans on handing out maps to local transients pinpointing public restrooms and showers they can use. However, it looks like they're mostly sending them in the direction of Echo Park. Another glaring problem is that there are so few of these facilities available and they're all so spread out.
The map, which the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council (SLNC) plans on handing out to the Silver Lake and Echo Park homeless, highlights eight spots with info on when they're open, according to the Eastsider. These places are mostly public libraries, pools and recreation centers, with two of them in Silver Lake, one in East Hollywood and five of them in Echo Park. Since the facilities are so spread out, it honestly seems pretty hard for someone to trek so far to use a restroom or shower.
Silver Lake Neighborhood Council (SLNC) member Teresa Sitz told the Eastsider that the limited availability of public restrooms and showers shows an alarming problem about this basic quality of life need. During an SLNC meeting last November, alongside suggesting the maps idea, members also discussed asking the city council to provide more affordable housing in an effort to reduce the number of homeless people on the streets.
A 2012 L.A. Times editorial addressed the same problems going on in Skid Row, saying that there are a lack of public restrooms and that while the best solution would be to create more permanent supportive housing, it's expensive to implement:
In the meantime, the homeless must have sanitary toilet facilities. This is a basic and inescapable fact, a matter of simple humanity for people who live on the streets and an issue of public health for all. Withholding basic necessities in an effort to discourage the homeless from coming to a neighborhood is cruel and solves nothing in the long run. They will simply decamp to another neighborhood where their new neighbors will have to cope with them. And wherever the homeless end up, if there are no public bathrooms, they will be compelled to soil sidewalks or lawns. No one wants this.