For people who live on the streets, access to basic necessities like shelter, food and bathrooms are often hard to find. That’s brought a problem to Capitol Hill that residents of one neighborhood are now trying to solve.
Sridhar Reddy lives in Capitol Hill and he said once the weather got warmer, he started noticing human waste, needles and drug paraphernalia along his alley.
“If people feel [like] they don’t have any other options than to use the alley as a toilet because there’s aren’t any other toilets nearby or services nearby,” he said, “we need to understand that.”
For him, there’s a bigger issue that needs to be addressed. From January to March of 2018, Denver's Environmental Health has received 23 written complaints about this.
“We recognize there’s a lack of public restrooms. We wanted to do something about it,” said Nancy Kuhn, a spokesperson for Denver Public Works.
The department started putting mobile restrooms on the streets two years ago to address the issue. Kuhn said they’re now collecting data to see what locations have the most demand and then they’ll work to put permanent restrooms in that location.
“A lot of people like our public restrooms but sometimes they don’t want a restroom near them,” said Kuhn.
People normally like the idea of providing more restrooms for the homeless community but she said they don’t want it on their block.
“We struggle a little bit with that,” she said.
Reddy said he wants to look for a permanent solution and not just pass on the problem to another neighborhood. He called it a city-wide problem.