Saturday, December 9, 2017

Third World Dump: Los Angeles Democrats 'Help' the Homeless with Public Toilets

If you read the New York Times' piece from the other day, "End of Apartheid in South Africa?", you would have noticed that black South Africans still live overwhelming in the poverty-infested "townships," one of the key institutions of apartheid. One of the photos at the story showed rows of porta-potties spread along garbage-strewn streets.

Well, it turns out Los Angeles Democrats have a Third World hellhole to emulate.

At the Los Angles Times, "L.A. adds more public toilets as homeless crisis grows":
Los Angeles officials have debated for decades how best to provide for one of the most basic needs of homeless people.

For those camped in the 50-block skid row district, the streets have been an open-air restroom — with only nine toilets available overnight in recent months to as many as 1,800 people camped on sidewalks.

Over the years, the city would install bathrooms and then haul them away after they were commandeered for drug use and prostitution. Some in downtown also worried the restrooms would give a permanence to the homeless camps, and argued that in the lawless atmosphere of skid row, people would not use them.

But with homelessness at crisis proportions, the first new public toilets on skid row in more than a decade opened Monday.

The action represents a new consensus among many downtown interests about how to provide the essential service on skid row. The restrooms also are expected to help in the fight against a statewide hepatitis A outbreak spread by poor hygiene in homeless camps that has killed more than a dozen people in San Diego.

The Los Angeles facilities will be decidedly different from those in the past, both aesthetically and culturally.

A key will be having full-time attendants, whom activists are calling "ambassadors," to monitor the restrooms and make people feel welcome. Homeless advocates also hope to have a snack stand and a bench for resting and chatting with friends, as well as provide feminine hygiene products, which are in short supply on skid row.

The new approach comes as the border between skid row and the rest of downtown is shifting. High-end development is rising at skid row's doorstep, and the tent cities that once were largely limited to skid row are spreading to other parts of the city.

"In other places, the bathrooms might be seen as something that's going to attract certain behaviors or people," said Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council director Nate Cormier, a South Park resident. "We have so many people under those conditions, we're all looking any way we can to turn the tide and deal with the crisis."

The latest $450,000 facility is modest — eight toilets and six showers, operating four days a week, in a trailer on a city-owned parking lot sandwiched between two homeless housing and service agencies. In addition to attendants, the toilets will be monitored by a maintenance crew and security, which organizers hope will forestall the problems that so long soured skid row bathroom politics.

A January expansion will increase the number of showers and toilets and add laundry facilities, officials said.

At the formal opening Monday morning, Mayor Eric Garcetti underlined the community’s role in the project.

"It is for decades that this community has cried out for the need for public restrooms," Garcetti said at the event, which featured a bongo and guitar trio and a dozen other city and county officials. "We know here that this is one step, but it is a critical step."

The celebratory atmosphere was broken when a skid row activist who worked on the project tore up the city certificate of appreciation that Garcetti had handed him.

"It's 10 years late and three times short," General Dogon, a member of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, an anti-poverty group, said as television cameras rolled. "This ain't nothing to what we laid out and what we need."
At the photo at the piece, "Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tours the new Skid Row Community ReFresh Spot hygiene center."

We should dump his head in a public toilet and see how he likes it, the ghoul.