Los Angeles officials have debated for decades how best to provide for one of the most basic needs of homeless people.
For those camped in the 50-block skid row district, the streets have been an open-air restroom — with only nine toilets available overnight in recent months to as many as 1,800 people camped on sidewalks.
Over the years, the city would install bathrooms and then haul them away after they were commandeered for drug use and prostitution. Some in downtown also worried the restrooms would give a permanence to the homeless camps, and argued that in the lawless atmosphere of skid row, people would not use them.
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