Sacramento flushes portable restroom program for homeless

Sacramento will remove portable restrooms for the homeless after the program goes over budget. (Nov. 2, 2016)

Sacramento's Pit Stop Pilot Program, which offers clean restrooms to homeless, is coming to an end.

"It's something that you don't really want to do in your car or your van, and having the portable bathrooms is a blessing,” said Victoria Staeps.

Staeps is one of the nearly 10,000 people that have used the restroom since the program started in June. Located in Sacramento’s Rive District, the facility is open daily from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

"If this wasn't here for the people to use, this would be their restrooms – the streets,” said bathroom attendant, Herman Coleman.

Coleman maintains the bathroom, along with another attendant. He said the homeless use the facility instead of sneaking into restaurants or nearby stores.

"If you get rid of them, there's nowhere to go unless you walk to the casino,” said Chris Dickerson, who lives down the street.

But here’s the thing, the city said the tax payer funded restroom is over budget by $73,000.

"In a perfect world I would be able to continue the program, but it is frankly too costly the way we are doing it right now,” said Councilman Jeff Harris.

Harris pitched the program and said it’s clear that public restrooms are in need. He said staff is looking at other options, like buying a smaller portable unit or simply building more public restrooms in parks and other public venues that are staffed by attendants.

"I would like to see the city have public facilities that are clean and safe and well organized for our entire population,” said Harris. 

Copyright 2016 KXTV


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