Where Is Our Humane Homeless Policy? In A Word, Nowhere

Despite claims to manipulated statistics, the homeless problems in Texas are accelerating. You don't have to believe what you hear; you can look with your own eyes with tents popping up regularly and the number of homeless soliciting on our streets growing.

One thing not talked about is the basic dignity of going to the bathroom. In our last TCR we featured a photo of human waste near Jones Hall downtown and it got us at TCR thinking, where do the homeless go to the bathroom? Based on recent news stories out of Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles it is kind of like how dogs go, but without the clean-up.

And what does this cause? In Los Angeles, where third world diseases are reemerging like typhus, hepatitis A, tuberculosis, and bubonic plague, and the city leadership has no answers. LA is also experiencing a breakdown in the sanitation department as mountains of trash, much from the homeless, is left to rot and grow along with the rodents who come with it.

So let's talk ideas to help alleviate the crisis. Sanisette is a French invention managed by the private sector that solves one big problem, where to go to the bathroom.

Here is a picture of what we are talking about:

The Sanisette contains a toilet behind a door that opens when a button is pressed and when a user enters the toilet, the door closes to provide privacy. After the user has finished using the toilet, they exit and the door closes again. A wash cycle that begins inside the toilet, and the toilet fixture itself is scrubbed and disinfected automatically. After about sixty seconds, the toilet is again ready for use.

Sanisettes are usually configured to open the door after a preset period (typically 15 minutes) to discourage vagrancy. The door cannot be opened from the outside unless the Sanisette is available.

The city of Paris rents Sanisettes from a subcontractor for about $1,350.00 per month per unit. Paris pays $15,000.00 per unit per year to operate the Sanisettes.

Why don't we adopt this best practice idea?


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