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L.A. Metro May Put Showers for Homeless People near Stations

Los Angeles homeless (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)
Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

The Los Angeles Metro may put showers for homeless people near some of its stations, after the board of directors approved a resolution last Thursday to study the issue over the next four months.

Curbed Los Angeles reports:

“A shower might just give someone that confident feeling they need. They might be taking the bus or train to go to a job interview,” said Metro director and county supervisor Janice Hahn.

The plan is due in four months, meaning details are scarce right now. But the motion notes that the program would roll out first at the North Hollywood and Westlake/MacArthur Park stations.

Inglewood Mayor James Butts was the only board member to speak against the proposal, saying showers and bathrooms might end up attracting homeless residents.

Aside from basic hygiene, one of the aims of the Metro service would be to help connect LA’s homeless to services offered by local governments and their partners, according to [Metro director and Los Angeles County supervisor Hilda] Solis’ office.

There is currently only one public restroom in the entire L.A. Metro system. The board of directors is also reportedly making more public restrooms available.

Solis’s website included a press statement touting the new project:

“Homelessness is a reality for nearly 58,000 people in the County. Providing access to adequate sanitation is a basic human right. Lack of hygiene facilities around our transit stations impacts our health and quality of life, and the depth of this problem is apparent and impacting our transit riders and station-adjacent communities,” said Metro Director and LA County Supervisor Solis. “For children, a shower is often the difference between going to school or not. Above all, this can help people regain their self-confidence and dignity – even if they are experiencing homelessness. I am proud of our Metro Board as we work together to make LA County a better place to live.”

Metro Director and LA County Supervisor Kuehl added, “This motion represents another important effort among several dozen strategies that the County has launched as part of its action plan to reduce homelessness. Providing showers not only helps people with their basic hygiene, it also helps to restore dignity and makes it easier to connect people to the services needed to put them on a path from homelessness to housing.”

The San Francisco Bay Area Rapit Transit (BART) system has notorious problems with homeless people urinating and defecating in public areas of the stations. In 2014, the city welcomed a bus that provided homeless people with mobile showers.

Fox News notes the broader context of homelessness in California, which has forced Orange County to evacuate homeless camps along the Santa Ana River, and which has slowed down train traffic as homeless people camp or move near rail tracks across the state.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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