Seattle Man's Toilet Kit For The Homeless Brings Privacy, Opens Doors
Mark Lloyd pulls up to a group of 10 tents near a freeway on-ramp, pops his trunk and pulls out his supplies: cat litter, a small military surplus tent, toilet paper, sanitizer, and a 5-gallon plastic bucket, complete with toilet seat.
This is the rudimentary toilet setup that Lloyd has been assembling and delivering to homeless encampments for about three years now. He guesses he has given away between 75 and 100.
"It's something people need, and I can fill it," he says.
That need has cities across the country wrestling with a major public health challenge: how to provide sanitation to growing populations of unsheltered people. San Francisco is staffing public toilets to serve homeless people. Washington, D.C., is conducting pilot programs to increase access to public toilets.
Lloyd started his guerrilla toilet distribution project after he saw encampments popping up and spreading in his Seattle neighborhood, just east of downtown. He felt compelled to become involved, get to know the people and see what they needed. The answer, judging by the litter on the ground, was pretty clear.