Saturday, December 24, 2016

A 24/7 Restroom for the Holidays

Above: A wreath made by Sean McCartney at the Ho-Ho-Hobos wreath stand in downtown Olympia earlier this week.

By Janine Gates

Continued conversation has resulted in a win-win for everyone.

The restrooms at three Capitol Campus locations – Heritage and Marathon parks and the Interpretive Center – have reopened, following talks with Just Housing, the group that was staging protests requesting 24/7 access to public restrooms in downtown Olympia, said Linda Kent, Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (DES) on Friday.

In addition, DES is keeping a portable restroom and hand washing station open at Heritage Park for 24-hour access while the agency works with community groups, the City of Olympia and other stakeholders to seek a long term workable solution.

The regular park restrooms will be open during park hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The agency says it does not have the funding to keep the regular park bathrooms open 24 hours a day.

The portable that had been placed near Olympia Supply has since been moved by DES to the side of the Heritage Park restroom.

“….DES is committed to keeping the portable restroom open while productive community conversations continue, provided the restrooms are not vandalized and remain sanitary,” said Kent.

Just Housing also issued a press release on Friday saying, “We take these negotiations very seriously and we are currently consulting with movement supporters, stakeholders, and attorneys about how to proceed with specific commitments….Generally speaking, we would like to see expanded access to the Heritage Park restrooms by the end of January in order to continue moving forward in trust and good faith.”

Above: A Christmas tree in the main lobby of Providence St. Peter Hospital. The tree, titled, Tree With A Mission, was one of those designed for the Christmas Forest fundraiser by the Providence St. Peter Foundation. Other words on the tree included Respect, and Stewardship.

Editor's Note: I would like to extend a warm thank you for reading Little Hollywood. It is an honor to provide a trusted source of news for our community. I’ll be taking a break to recharge, and look forward to 2017 with new perspectives. Please consider a donation to Little Hollywood if you appreciate independent journalism. See the Little Hollywood sidebar for more information.

Thank you also to all our first responders. For those who are not able to take a break, who are caring for those who are injured or sick, or for those facing serious life challenges, my thoughts are with you.  I wish everyone peace and happiness.