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"Seattle Man's Toilet Kit For The Homeless Brings Privacy, Opens Doors"

 
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It's a bucket toilet!

This is such an uplifting idea put in action.

Lloyd started his guerrilla toilet distribution project after he saw encampments popping up and spreading in his Seattle neighborhood, just east of downtown. He felt compelled to become involved, get to know the people and see what they needed. The answer, judging by the litter on the ground, was pretty clear.



"I really like giving out toilets and feeling like I'm doing something there, but I feel the most value when I've been able to help someone out who I've gotten to know," he says. "You know, taking someone to the hospital, talking to them about getting them maybe into drug treatment, connecting them with people that I know with the city to get them into housing."


https://www.npr.org/2019/08/03/746581586/seattle-mans-toilet-kit-for-the-homeless-brings-privacy-opens-doors


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Judith Browning
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There was no mention of disposal or composting and I do see the bucket liner so I assume it will be taken as 'trash'.  

I think it's an excellent start in the right direction though.
 
pollinator
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Homeless people in Victoria, shit everywhere. I expect that all of these supplies would end up the same as the free blankets and shoes that are given out daily. Strewn around the parks and boulevards for city workers to clean up.

Simple shovels made from wood or bamboo could be reused many times. Those who sleep in the same spot every night are likely to bury their poop. I wouldn't trust the majority of them to do the right thing with the contents of the bucket.

I have provided camping spots for dozens of these fellows , so I speak from experience. When they bury their poop, they have just accomplished something, however minor . When they poop in a bag or bucket , they have created a problem that they almost always shirk responsibility for.

For those living in concrete jungles without the ability to dig a hole , i favor concrete and steel bathroom structures with simple pit toilets that are used in a squatting position. There's virtually nothing to be vandalized. Porcelain toilets and urinals , doors and light fixtures can all be broken. Completely functional toilets can be made without these things. Simple third world technology that cost almost nothing to build and maintain.
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Judith Browning
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concrete and steel bathroom structures with simple pit toilets that are used in a squatting position.  


I agree.  A pemanent structure with a pit would be a great improvement.  I think most homeless camps in the US are not allowed ANY permanent structures though.

Simple shovels made from wood or bamboo could be reused many times. Those who sleep in the same spot every night are likely to bury their poop.  


Digging holes would work if there were very few people...very very few and the 'used' holes were marked.  It doesn't take long to fill an area though when there are more people and nothing more frustrating than to go out with one's shovel looking for a unused spot in the moment...ask me how I know

I know it's not an ideal step but certainly a benefit to the homeless communities he donates to.  
 
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Yes Dale!  Squatters!.

Every public toiled should have squatters. So easy to clean with a hose.

Never happen.
 
Judith Browning
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I would really be interested in ideas on how to advance this idea.

I know it's not ideal if the deposits are ending up in the trash but I don't think parks and beaches are going to allow composting or large pits dug on site and there is not always enough space for everyone to go out and dig a little hole everyday for weeks on end.

Any ideas for a portable composting system that would be accepted by cities?

I suppose the buckets could be stored once filled like is being done at Wheaton Labs but I don't think a five gallon would compost as well as the wheelie bin size they are using?

The kitty litter they are using I imagine is the least expensive clay or paper stuff so would be ok in compost.

I image other 'things' end up in these buckets also.

I admire this man's incentive.
 
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I agree. If everyone thought & acted like this guy the world would be a better place.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Hypodermic needles, unwanted clothing and general trash are bound to make it into the containers . A sorting nightmare. It's already a shitty job for parks workers. I imagine that most of it would have to go to the dump because of contaminants.
 
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It's been so long since I logged in, and it's amazing that I found this thread. It's a great initiative, no doubt. However, like many have pointed out, this is no simple task.
Homelessness is perhaps the hardest issue to understand, let alone to try to alleviate. In fact, the trouble lies with the fact that there is no consensus about what it means to "alleviate" homelessness. Interestingly, sociologists are arguing that "homes" or things that constitute a "home" may not be the answer. Home, they suggest, is an abstract concept, whereas "housing" is more rooted in material and political realities (Source: Sociology: The Essentials). It is so difficult to identify exactly what sort of infrastructure and policies will alleviate homelessness, especially when there is also such a thing as voluntary homelessness. Very few issues seem more complex!
 
Judith Browning
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Mark Rainer wrote:It's been so long since I logged in, and it's amazing that I found this thread. It's a great initiative, no doubt. However, like many have pointed out, this is no simple task.
Homelessness is perhaps the hardest issue to understand, let alone to try to alleviate. In fact, the trouble lies with the fact that there is no consensus about what it means to "alleviate" homelessness. Interestingly, sociologists are arguing that "homes" or things that constitute a "home" may not be the answer. Home, they suggest, is an abstract concept, whereas "housing" is more rooted in material and political realities (Source: Sociology: The Essentials). It is so difficult to identify exactly what sort of infrastructure and policies will alleviate homelessness, especially when there is also such a thing as voluntary homelessness. Very few issues seem more complex!



Mark, what you say is so true!

The problem is huge and seemingly insurmountable sometimes and that is why I like seeing someone focusing on one part of the problem and finding at least an improvement if not a perfect solution.

Hypodermic needles, unwanted clothing and general trash are bound to make it into the containers


The reasons for being homeless are varied...it's another area where I think it's a mistake to stereotype.
I think many people, not all, rise to the level of another person's confidence in their ability to do better.

So, any ideas for portable composting systems for the homeless camps?  How to keep trash out?

 
Dale Hodgins
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I think the main reason that homeless areas have acute sanitation problems is that many places have a policy of containment. This concentrates homeless people in small geographic areas, which makes them easier to police, and it also makes it easier to provide them with services. In every case that I know about, the containment has worked to a large degree, at the expense of local property owners who see business closures, high rates of theft and vandalism and other calamity. For city government it's mostly about managing behavior and reducing the amount of real estate ceded in the process.

I have hired hundreds of homeless men and often they have been allowed to stay at my job sites. So I have witnessed first hand every reason why people don't want a homeless camp in their neighborhood. About 12 years ago , i greatly reduced my interaction with these fellows, choosing to do smaller jobs that mostly require more skilled  labor than the majority of homeless men are able to provide.

Since I first started doing work where I was able to hire homeless guys , there has been many changes made by local government , to accommodate them, including some nearly indestructible toilets. Some people were happy to see it happen and others said that it normalizes homelessness. I can't stress enough the importance of  homeless toilets beeing just about indestructible. There's always a few who will destroy everything in their environment. I donated a commercial quality foosball game, the kind you see at bars. It had lasted for years in a private home. Completely destroyed in a week. The shuffleboard didn't last that long. The heavy parts were used as projectiles in a fight and it had to be taken away.

This is the nature of what shelter workers deal with daily. Everything must be cheap but built strong. If it can be broken , someone  will break it , if it can be stolen , it will walk away even though it has no value to the person taking it.That's why I like concrete and steel.
 
Mark Rainer
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Judith Browning wrote:

Mark Rainer wrote:It's been so long since I logged in, and it's amazing that I found this thread. It's a great initiative, no doubt. However, like many have pointed out, this is no simple task.
Homelessness is perhaps the hardest issue to understand, let alone to try to alleviate. In fact, the trouble lies with the fact that there is no consensus about what it means to "alleviate" homelessness. Interestingly, sociologists are arguing that "homes" or things that constitute a "home" may not be the answer. Home, they suggest, is an abstract concept, whereas "housing" is more rooted in material and political realities (Source: Sociology: The Essentials). It is so difficult to identify exactly what sort of infrastructure and policies will alleviate homelessness, especially when there is also such a thing as voluntary homelessness. Very few issues seem more complex!



Mark, what you say is so true!

The problem is huge and seemingly insurmountable sometimes and that is why I like seeing someone focusing on one part of the problem and finding at least an improvement if not a perfect solution.

Hypodermic needles, unwanted clothing and general trash are bound to make it into the containers


The reasons for being homeless are varied...it's another area where I think it's a mistake to stereotype.
I think many people, not all, rise to the level of another person's confidence in their ability to do better.

So, any ideas for portable composting systems for the homeless camps?  How to keep trash out?




Very true what you say about approaching it from one particular perspective. The positive impacts of well-meaning efforts certainly cannot be discounted. I think any ethical action really is better than my "armchair observer" perspective.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Our best corporate citizen in Victoria, when it comes to homelessness , is Starbucks. Everyone is allowed to use the bathrooms , unless they've been caught vandalizing or doing drugs. They don't care if the homeless person buys anything. On many occasions I've seen them offer water and unsold merchandise that is about to expire , or items that were paid for and not picked up.

In some areas ,  Starbucks is the only place that allows these people to go to the bathroom , and that becomes a problem when numbers are too high. When a wide range of businesses allow passers by to use the facilities, the need for separate toilets doesn't exist.

One issue we've had with the concrete and steel toilets is that sometimes an aggressive homeless person tries to monopolize it and prevent others from using it, sometimes by tying his pit bull to the structure. I have observed that there's usually a small minority of homeless people,  who prey on the less aggressive majority. People in the community are often troubled by seeing groups of homeless people gathered together at night. They do this for their own protection , against the rotten ones. These groups aren't looking to beat anyone up or break into cars. The real jackasses are usually alone or in pairs.
 
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