Plight of the Porta-Potties

” … everyone on this earth has to go to the bathroom.”

Somewhere in the southern California city of Anaheim is a dusty encampment that’s home to hundreds of men, women and children. They live in tents and other makeshift shelters and do what they can to survive.

Recently, an important part of their simple living was taken from them when the city confiscated three porta-potties and locked them up in a storage facility. Now, these homeless individuals have nowhere to relieve themselves except in the bushes, or in buckets, or in the cramped privacy of their own tents. (Read more about their plight here.)

There is an old proverb, used by believers and nonbelievers alike, that goes like this: “There but for the grace of God go I.” 

The truth behind this statement is obviously being ignored by those who live in comfortable homes with plenty of food on the table … and one or more (indoor) bathrooms.

What adds to the insensitivity of this scenario is the porta-potties were purchased with donations and set up by local activist groups. In addition, money was raised to have them pumped and cleaned.

Yet “the city” in its all-knowing wisdom removed them because the installers had no permit! As one city official commented, “The toilets pose a health and safety concern and were placed … without permission.” (I couldn’t help but wonder about the “health concerns” that will result when people must relieve themselves in nearby streams and river beds.)

As the homeless advocate pointed out: “Sickness and disease will spread among homeless men, women, and children that cannot wash their hands. This is a group of people that is being left to die due to their government’s depraved indifference.” (emphasis added)

I apologize if this posting has offended your sensitivities. However, if you can come up with a way to avoid the natural process described in the opening quote, you may be in line for a Nobel Prize.

10 thoughts on “Plight of the Porta-Potties

  1. It does seem they are trying to make it as miserable as possible to drive them out and away. However we have a real problem with homelessness from all causes and the ever increasing lack of affordable housing and no mental health care are adding to the problem. I sometimes wonder if humans can get any more inhumane towards each other. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  2. From the news article:

    Many in the encampment are unable to work because of disabilities or mental illness. Others are simply unable to keep up with the cost of living in Anaheim.

    I have firsthand experience with the homeless — well, technically 2nd hand from my sister — regarding WHO is typically in homeless encampments. I’d say based on what my sister has shared with me — AS a homeless person many times — 80% to 90% of them are mentally-ill people/patients (which are also disabled; my sister is too, and an addict PARTLY due to a severe lack of mental-health access/opportunities to rehab) many of the homeless cannot get or find adequate (long-term?) professional rehab programs; private OR state-county government! My Mom and I have been round and round this horrible vicious merry-go-round the last 35+ years and it’s always the same general or indiscreet answer: “there’s just not enough money or beds” for the growing epidemic and inequality.

    But if there is ONE THING (at least) Texas DOES have money for and always has… it is oogles & oogles of funding for new and/or upgraded jails and penitentiaries and all the staff required to guard those cells! Oh, and let’s not forget all the FREE labor from inmates either. It all begs the question…

    WHY is there always much more money for incarcerating citizens (repeatedly) than there is providing excellent occupational-educational opportunities or rehabilitation back into such institutions for future betterment!?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Professor. I am sorry about your sister. I am frustrated at what our politicians spend their time on solving like where trans people can pee, and how they can get their favorite sports team a new stadium at taxpayer expense. Yet they are not dealing with issues like the ones you mention. I wish people had longer memories and would vote non responding politicians out of office. Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … until the situation hits YOU (not specifically), it “doesn’t exist.” So long as YOUR (not specifically) life is satisfactory (food on the table, a place to pee, roof over your head, etc.), the plight of others is, well, tsk-tsk, their own fault. They should have …. (fill in the blanks) … and things would be different/better for them.

        I’m sorry, PT, for your situation. But because you’re experienced what I’m talking about, you understand the point of my post.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I really DO understand Nan, first or second-hand definitely, but having worked for years in the Psych/A&D field as well, what utterly baffles me is that as one of the top 3 wealthiest nations per capita on the planet, we have had and still have some of the most HORRENDOUS lack of widespread quality social programs, including mental-health, A&D rehab, and homeless numbers (to name three) in the world! I do ask (rhetorically) HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE!? That’s honestly shameful to say the least. And having been in public education for a few years, should I even get started on global comparisons of quality primary, secondary, and under-grad education versus the U.S., much worse Texas!? :/

          You are correct Nan, as long as the ones who can do the most STAY in their ivory towers or private lear jets detached from reality, growing inequality will continue until rebellions and revolutions — ala Marie Antionette — tear those ivory towers down, sadly after needless loss of lives that COULD’VE been avoided so much earlier!

          Liked by 3 people

  3. The Donald Trumps seem to abound. Fucking bastards.

    I wonder why they don’t just roll in with paddy wagons and round em up? Media attention would be my first guess. This looks like an underhanded attack meant to dissipate the group, with a great cover of the asses with a lack of a permit…

    Where are the good people running for office?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They’re too poor to run. Think about it. Many who hold government positions today are there because they had the wealth (often accumulated through nefarious means) to buy their way into office. And once there, it’s all about power.


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