Caring for California’s Homeless with ADA Restroom Trailers
If you’ve been following the news recently, you’ve almost certainly heard about the increasing number of people facing homelessness in California’s cities. In Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco – homeless populations continue to grow as the state faces an affordable housing crisis unlike any in its history. While this is a sobering topic to cover, PRT is proud that our ADA restroom trailers continue to play a role in the health and safety of those who are experiencing homelessness as part of this regional epidemic.
There are more than a half million homeless Americans, and more than 25% of them live in the state of California. Some estimates put the number of people facing homelessness in Los Angeles alone above 40,000 – with San Diego and San Francisco each supporting homeless populations in the range of approximately 10,000 people.
Government agencies and non-profit charities cooperate to care for those experiencing homelessness. Services provided include access to temporary housing, access to food and clean water, and a myriad of social support programs intended to help individuals find health care, employment opportunities, and permanent living arrangements. However, as these cities are quickly learning, sometimes the most important services are the most basic – and access to sanitary restrooms can play a major role in the health and dignity of those who find themselves without a home to call their own.
Controlling Contagious Disease with Sanitary Restroom Facilities
When large populations of homeless people gather in concentrated areas, the lack of basic services like restrooms and showers present an urgent health crisis for public officials. Contagious diseases including hepatitis A, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis are significantly more common in homeless populations, compared to the rest of America. Recent studies indicate that a lack of sanitary restroom facilities is closely correlated to the occurrence and spread of these diseases – especially hepatitis A.
Beginning in March 2017, the CDC issued a national alert for state and local health departments to monitor homeless populations for outbreaks of hepatitis A. This highly contagious and potentially fatal liver disease is spreading rapidly in homeless populations around the country, with some of the worst outbreaks occurring in California.
Some California jurisdictions have deployed mobile medical units to offer free immunization services to people experiencing homelessness. While this strategy is expected to provide some long-term relief, the disease continues to spread in the short-term.
San Diego has put some emergency measures in place including teams of workers who pressure wash public streets and sidewalks with bleach and other disinfectants. But many cities have found that providing sanitary restroom facilities as a preventative measure is a more effective control. PRT has delivered several ADA restroom trailers for this purpose – most recently to a city on the North Bay, just outside of San Francisco.
Supporting Homeless Populations with Sanitary ADA Restroom Trailers
We do a fair amount of business with municipal governments – sometimes to support community events like concerts and sporting events, and other times to help with urgent public health matters like the spread of hepatitis. When our new client reached out to us this winter, they were in search of preventative measures to help curb the spread of hepatitis A from homeless populations in nearby San Francisco. We were very happy to help the city’s officials find a solution for their problem. And we were equally happy to help restore sanitary conditions, and more importantly a sense of dignity, to the individuals in their community who are experiencing homelessness at this time.
The city’s primary requirement was for high-traffic public restrooms with showers that could easily be moved from one location to another. An important secondary requirement was to accommodate citizens with mobility impairments by complying with federal and California accessibility standards. We found a fitting solution with two ADA+2-station units from our Sierra Series of ADA restroom trailers.
All our ADA restroom trailers meet or exceed every aspect of California accessibility requirements, and these units are no exception. The trailers are designed with a hydraulic kneeling axle system that lowers the entire unit to ground level with the push of a button. A folding steel ramp provides easy access to the ADA suite, which is designed for maximum convenience with a push button flush mechanism, wrap-around assistance grab rails, and a full 360-degree turning radius for standard wheelchairs.
High-Quality Components for Maximum Comfort and Durability
Several of our ADA restroom trailers incorporate shower stalls, and the city wanted to provide shower facilities to help improve the sanitary services for their homeless population. The units we delivered feature two unisex restroom suites, each with its own shower stall – in addition to the dedicated ADA suite. Hot water is provided by an on-demand liquid propane water heater in the trailer’s onboard mechanical room.
The two unisex suites feature designer wood-grain vinyl flooring with durable fiberglass walls and steel framing. The pedal-flush toilet and pedestal sink are authentic china, and there is a large shatterproof glass mirror with a stainless-steel cabaret-style light fixture.
Maintenance is kept to a minimum thanks to a large 300-gallon waste tank and a 225-gallon freshwater tank. Water can also be supplied from a city source with a standard ¾-inch garden hose connection. Dual 20-pound propane tanks are mounted directly on the trailer’s tongue.
The interior is kept at a comfortable temperature all year long with a roof-mounted air conditioner and electric heat strips integrated into the interior trim. Optional upgrades are available to add ducted central heat for operation in extremely cold environments.
Find ADA Restroom Trailers to Meet Your City’s Needs
If your city is looking for ADA restroom trailers to support homeless populations, sporting events, public concerts, or any other municipal function – contact PRT to learn more about our extensive lineup of ADA restroom trailers. We offer a full range of complementary resources including shower trailers, laundry trailers, hand-washing stations, and drinking fountains. And our trained staff can help you navigate our inventory to find the optimal solution for your unique requirements.
We have a wide range of flexible financing options to accommodate any budget, and we have a long history of successfully partnering with municipal governments to expand their restroom resources while avoiding the cost and red tape associated with permanent structures. Give us a call at (877) 600-8645 to get started today.