News Release

Lone Wolf (street.mail@att.net)
Fri, 05 Dec 1997 00:00:34 -0800




>From Lone Wolf

:
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NEWS RELEASE

 For Immediate Release
 

Headline: FAST COMMENCES FOR 24 HOUR BATHROOM FACILITIES

Larry Milligan, phone number (619) 424-7857, local homeless advocate, begins a fast
Thursday, December 4, 1997 at 2:00 p.m. outside the public restroom on Third and C
Street in downtown San Diego. Larry Milligan is bringing the fast for two reasons.
One reason is to ease the pain of his homeless neighbors, who reside in the City of
San Diego and do not have 24 hour access to public restroom facilities. The other
reason is to work through the humiliation and shame of the homeless community
being denied the fundamental human right of hygiene and 24 hour public bathroom
facilities in the City of San Diego. Larry Milligan says to the City and his homeless
neighbors that "I am happy to be alive at the same time that they are and that you
have helped me in my struggle, in my own spiritual road. It is not a case of judging or
confrontation. It is a case of realizing within ourselves, as sacred human beings, the
tn~e meaning of the giving of our lives.

     For the past seven years, Larry Milligan has attempted to obtain 24 how
bathroom facilities in the City of San Diego through petitions, through communication
with the City Council, and through protests. In the early 1990's, Larry Milligan
presented the City Council with more than 8,000 signatures from the community who
supported 24 hour bathroom facilities in the City of San Diego. In 1991, The City Task
Force on the Homeless was created because of the activity of the homeless
community, through demonstrations and political support from John Hartley's (former
City Council Member) office. The City Task Force unanimously voted for the opening
of 24 hour bathroom facilities in the City of San Diego. The opening of 24 hour
bathroom facilities was subsequently incorporated into the comprehensive Homeless
Policy of the City of San Diego, voted unanimously into effect in 1995 by the City
Council. The Comprehensive Homeless Policy specifically supports and recommends
that "24 hour public restroom facilities will be made available to the homeless
population." See page 4, paragraph 4 of the Comprehensive Homeless Policy, which
is enclosed with this news release.

     At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, November 4, 1997, Larry Milligan
gave each member of the City Council a copy of the Comprehensive Homeless Policy,
and he asked how can we work through this shame and humiliation together. Larry
Milligan informed the City Council that the policy of 24 hour bathroom facilities has
not been carried out. Larry Milligan also mentioned that hygiene is a very basic,
fundamental human right. A month later, neither the City Council nor the Mayor's
office has contacted Larry Milligan.

     Brian Mahoney, Esq., a member of the Board of Directors of Homeless
Advocates of San Diego states "Back in 1995, the City Council adopted a
Comprehensive Homeless Policy that supported 24 hour public restroom facilities.
Two years later, this policy has not been put into effect. Actions speak louder than
words and the City Council's actions show that they do not care about the
fundamental rights of our homeless neighbors. One's need to use a bathroom does
not begin at 7:00 a.m. and end at 10:00 p.m., which is the time the restroom at Third
and C is open to the public. Proper hygiene requires access to bathroom facilities 24
hours a day.

     Moreover, providing 24 hour public restroom facilities is a public health
concern and will save money in the end. Doctor Georges M. Argoud, M.D., F.A.C.P.,
(619) 426-0404, states that: "Lack of access to rest rooms and the inability of the
homeless to wash their hands after using the restroom increases the incidence of
gastrointestinal and skin infections and hepatitis. These acute infections associated
with vomiting and diarrhea superimposed on preexisting medical conditions in the
homeless, e.g., malnutrition, result in severe adverse effects often leading to an
emergency room visit and/or hospitalization. The decompensation of an already
compromised patient significantly increases the cost of medical care that is
shouldered by the County Indigent Program. Arranging availability of 24 hour access
to restrooms for the homeless is a humane action that will reduce infections and the
cost of medical care in homeless persons.

Contact:
Brian M. Mahoney
Attorney at Law
707 Broadway, Suite 1700
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 236-0286