Downtown portable restrooms to return
Fundraising campaign under way
Last Updated: 209 days ago
SAN DIEGO - Some portable restrooms recently removed from their downtown San Diego locations will be reinstalled after a 10News report uncovered concerns over a growing mess.
Within the past month, some portable toilets in the East Village were taken away due to what officials called a "lack of funding for restroom maintenance."
10News learned many of the homeless who occupy the area have had to find other, more public places to relieve themselves.
"I [have to] pee up against people's bushes," said Raphael Rosario.
Rosario, homeless with a swollen prostate, told 10News he has to relieve himself 20 times a day on the streets near Petco Park, and he's not alone.
For several years, Diamond Environmental Services agreed to temporarily pay for the toilets. As the costs mounted and with the city still searching for a permanent solution, the toilets were finally removed.
But the issues raised in 10News' story drew the attention of Diamond Environmental Services owner Eric Dejong.
"10News brought it to the attention of the public," Dejong said.
That, along with the promise of a bathroom fundraising campaign led by the nonprofit Girls Think Tank, convinced Dejong to return the bathrooms.
Six toilets will go in Thursday at 16th Street and Newton Avenue, with two being reserved for women and children.
"It's a good thing for everybody; it's the right thing to do," said Dejong.
Homeless advocate David Ross said the bathrooms will make a big difference, if you look at what was likely going into the streets every day.
"Six tons of human waste that was going into the streets will not be going there now," said Ross.
"The fact they're going in is a miracle, an answer to a prayer. It will give us freedom and dignity to be a human being," said Rosario.
Ross first put the portable restrooms in more than five years ago, using his Social Security money.
For more information on the fundraising campaign, click here.
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