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Supervisor secures funding for staffed, 24-hour public bathrooms

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney on Thursday celebrated new funding that will allow for the city’s Pit Stop program to continue providing 24-hour access to public bathrooms throughout the city.

Back in 2019, the city’s Department of Public Works, which operates the Pit Stop program, moved to make three of its 25 Pit Stop locations accessible 24 hours a day under a pilot program.

Then, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pit Stop program was expanded to a total of 62 locations, with 36 of them being staffed and open 24 hours.

But the initial city budget proposal for the current fiscal year would’ve drastically reduced the number of Pit Stop locations, bringing them back to 25 and none would have been open 24 hours.

In June, however, before the budget was approved and signed by Mayor London Breed, Haney proposed adding a minimum of $3.3 million to the budget in order to restore at least a portion of the 24-hour bathrooms.

According to Haney, under a new agreement with the Mayor’s Office, the city has committed more than $6 million of funding for the program. Now, the city will have 10 staffed, 24-hour Pit Stop bathrooms, as well as nine more bathroom locations.

Haney, whose district includes the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods, said 24-hour Pit Stop locations are essential to keeping streets clean and to providing people with dignity.

Harika Maddala/Bay City News San Francisco, Calif., Supervisor Matt Haney, announced on August 5, 2021, the city’s plan to expand funding for the City’s Pit Stop public restroom program. Haney previously pushed for the establishment of a 24hr bathroom, such as this one in the Tenderloin, that was successful (Harika Maddala/Bay City News)

At a rally Tuesday near Boeddeker Park, Haney said:

“These bathrooms are used by all of us; they’re used by people who live here; they’re used by housed people and unhoused people; they’re used by people who drive taxis; they’re used by people who go to the park; they’re used by gig workers. … We need these bathrooms. This is a fundamental service that a modern city should provide.”

During the rally, Public Works Pit Stop Manager Darlene Frohm thanked Haney for advocating for the extra funding, saying that the positive reception to the 24-hour bathrooms proved they were “definitely needed.”

Haney said:

“What we know is that there is a need for 24-hour bathrooms all over our city. And it wasn’t only an issue during the pandemic, it’s an issue everyday.”

The supervisor added:

“We’re also a city that unfortunately has become known for being filthy, in some cases feces, and all that. This is a proactive, common sense way to help address that problem.”

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