For years, Skid Row’s homeless have complained the lack of bathrooms and showers was creating an area ripe for infection.
Now, just months after Los Angeles county health officials announced a Hepatitis A outbreak, Skid Row is getting a hygiene station.
At a public event Monday, city officials unveiled what looks like a trailer with eight toilets, six showers and limited operating hours. The city is calling the facility the “Skid Row Community ReFresh Spot.”
“Most recently we saw Hepatitis A, and it gave more urgency to it. But this is something that the Skid Row community has asked for (for) a very, very long time,” Councilman José Huizar said.
There have been at least 34 outbreak-related cases of Hepatitis A in L.A. county in recent months.
Surrounded by city officials, longtime Skid Row activist General Dogon criticized their efforts to address problems on Skid Row. He tore up a certificate of appreciation that was given to him by the Mayor’s office.
“The toilets that you’re bringing? It’s ten years late and 300 too short,” Dogon said.
The city plans to add more stalls and laundry facilities to the station next year, and officials say it will eventually be open 24 hours a day.