Do We Need Portable Toilets for the SOME’s Population and Other Homeless in Our Area?

I am curious to hear feedback regarding my email to MPD, our ANCs and the news reporter.

From: Geovani A Bonilla [mailto:gbonilla@hospicemanagement.com]

Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2011 6:13 PM
To:
‘Amanda Abrams’; Sylvia Pinkney; Lonna Hooks; ‘Solberg, Andrew (MPD)’; Michael Boyd; bradley.thomas@anc.dc.gov

Subject: Need for Portable Toilets for SOME Population

Dear All –

 Today I met with Amanda Abrams, the reporter that did a great article on Truxton Circle and its revitalization. The article was published on the Washington Post’s Real Estate Section. The focus of today’s meeting was to discuss S.O.M.E and the impact this organization has on our quality of life and on the neighborhood as a whole.

 We discussed the mission of S.O.M.E and the importance of such an organization. We also discussed how this organization does little to ensure their clientele, which S.O.M.E. receives millions of dollars from Foundations, donors and District Government to care for, does not have a negative impact on our community. This organization continues to dismiss community concerns and requests to monitor and patrol the clients they are funded to provide services for.

 A proposal to portable self cleaning toilets had been presented. This is an idea we must discuss with S.O.M.E. One of the key issues with S.O.M.E is that their clientele does not have access to public restrooms; laws of physic require that waste be eliminated from the body once the body is fed. S.O.M.E’s clientele uses the alleys and backyards in our community as public restroom as well as the few public restrooms North Capitol businesses may have.

 Today was the 3rd time I have had to clean human feces from my backyard area. I am enclosing the photos to maybe have a real dialogue with SOME’s leadership about this matter. I know Commissioner Pinkney was going to discuss the toilet idea with SOME. I will however be engaging my community to collect petitions and ensure publicity is given not to just the good work SOME does, but also to the impact it has on our community and their disregard for our concerns.

 Regards,

 Geovani A. Bonilla


7 thoughts on “Do We Need Portable Toilets for the SOME’s Population and Other Homeless in Our Area?

  1. I think the issue of portable toilets is something we need to seriously consider as a matter of the public health of the residents in our community. People relieving themselves in public has become commonplace in many pockets of our business & residential community. I have witnessed it regularly (the people in the act of stood outside the glass windows of the NCMS office while I have been sitting at the front conference table). Many people are transients, some are here weekly, whatever their status, they are in our community and we must look at the options we have available to address the health and safety of our constituents.

  2. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. But I do have a few questions/concerns. Would it be possible for people to knock over the toilets? What is a self cleaning portable toilet? Would they smell and draw unwanted attention/bad publicity to our neighborhood? I am used to encountering port-a-potties that are downright foul.

  3. Thank you, this is the positive dialogue I had hoped for. The self cleaning portable toilets are not like those horrible green and blue contruction site toilets. Those are nicer toiltes as the ones in San Francisco and Australia. We are working too hard to improve the neighborhood to do something tacky.

  4. With the dozen or so groups operating in the area, maybe we can get a few to advertise an open restroom policy. Any other business/group in the city that brings a 1000+ people a day would be required to provide facilities.

    Knock on wood, I don’t think I’ve had to do any feces cleaning yet this year, however I’ve been greeted by a running hose a few times after someone took a shower in my back yard.

  5. S.O.M.E. has done so very little for the neighborhood. While the idea of open restrooms is a valuable one to persue, I would prepare yourself for a long argument with S.O.M.E. followed by many excuses from them.

  6. Jon – I agree that SOME will give us the run around. This is why we need to get the media involved, get a negative campaign PR going and force them to come to the table. We need to make sure the SOME donors know the negative impact their money is having in our neighborhood.

  7. A few years ago an anonymous SOME employee expressed anger on a community web site that community members “continued to spread the lie” that they refuse to let clients use their restrooms during the day. I was surprised to read that. Is it pie in the sky to think that perhaps they allow the use of their restrooms but 1) it is not well advertised to their clients (in which case Mike’s suggestion would be an excellent one) and/or 2) the people who relieve themselves in public are either too mentally ill or drug addicted to be able or willing to make the walk back down to SOME? In the case of #2, SOME still has responsibility to the community, but knowing the cause(s) of the problem is key to figuring out the most successful solution.

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