The Pit-Stop pilot program, launched in June 2016, has provided restroom access to more than 9,000 individuals experiencing homelessness. The six-month pilot program aims to provide access to a safe and clean environment for those who need it. The portable restroom located on Ahern between North A and North B Streets in the River District has been staffed to ensure that the toilets are well maintained and used for intended purposes.
Word of the program spread nationally, and Charmin, a brand committed to providing each and every person with a better bathroom experience, sent 3,000 rolls of toilet paper to stock the restrooms.
“Once we became aware of the program and learned of the City’s mission, we immediately knew this was something the brand could identify with.” said Angie McAuliffe, Charmin Communications Manager. “We’re always looking to help make the bathroom experience more enjoyable for everyone and want people to enjoy the go anytime, anywhere.”
The Pit Stop facility provides toilets, sinks, used needle receptacles and dog waste stations. The goal of this effort is to not only provide people a
place to take care of their needs with dignity, but to capture measurable data of those that use the facility,and how the City can further address homelessness in the surrounding region.
Over the course of the first three and half months of operation there were 9,344 uses of the Pit Stop facility, 649 used needles collected and 295 dog waste bags distributed.
“The people experiencing homelessness in Sacramento have limited access to toilets and Lavatories,” said Councilmember Jeff Harris. The goal of the program is to provide facilities to the unhoused population, to show that monitors make keeping public facilities open possible, and to change the culture of the homeless population so that they might accept services.”
Key to the success of the program are the restroom attendants, called monitors. In the last three months, the monitors have developed relationships with many of the customers as well as with the service providers. These relationships have created new opportunities to engage the homeless population in services.