Portable bathrooms being added around Cleveland for homeless community

City, county and homeless advocates work to put out portable bathrooms

Portable bathrooms being added around Cleveland for homeless community
File photo: Homeless in Cleveland (Source: Michael Dakota)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -The stay-at-home-order looks a lot different when you don’t have one.

Homeless people don’t have many places where they can wash their hands or use the bathroom.

Widespread closures of public restrooms make the problem worse.

From the beginning, advocates wondered how homeless persons were faring during this coranavirus pandemic.

“We heard reports that people weren’t drinking water because they had no place to use the restroom and we also heard a report that someone did end up peeing their pants at the time," Chris Knestrick, the Executive Director Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless.

And so the conversations began but no action was immediately taken.

Last week, 19 News photojournalist Marty DeChant asked Mayor Frank Jackson about the lack of portable restrooms in the city.

The mayor said Cuyahoga County was handling the issue and that at the time there was no plan in place.

“They are looking at that that is part of the ongoing discussion that we are involved with them but that has not been determined,” Jackson previously said.

Knestrick told 19 News over the weekend several partners came together to get the job done.

Monday morning several portable bathrooms were put up in various locations like the Marginal Road area near a tent city and the West Side Catholic Center.

By Tuesday, seven out of 10 were received and installed. Three more are expected to be put up today or Wednesday.

Here are the locations:

  • McCafferty Health Center, 4242 Lorain Ave.
  • Malachi Center, 2416 Superior Viaduct
  • Saint Herman’s House of Hospitality, 4410 Franklin Blvd.
  • South Marginal Road near the tennis courts, 2401 S. Marginal Road
  • Cosgrove Center, 1736 Superior Ave.
  • Carnegie West Library at the corner of West 38th Street and Bridge Avenue
  • West Side Catholic Center, Marginal Road

Knestrick said they’re relieved.

A company will clean, sanitize and fog the portable bathrooms at least once a day.

“The CDC best practices is making sure we have access to restrooms and cleaning stations that are put through the community so that people that are un-housed have access to them," he said. “People need restrooms, people need to go to the bathroom, people need to be able to wash their hands," said Knestrick.

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