Chuck Nevius' nostrils are burning. In his column today about the simple economics of human waste, the Chronicle staffer and fairly recent city resident explains the biggest problem facing the community in the our most notoriously smelly neighborhood: "The Tenderloin needs more bathrooms."
You see, the problem is we have all these programs and facilities in the neighborhood that focus on shoveling food in to the homeless and the destitute, but very few actually offer similar services when it comes time to dispose of the byproducts of their generosity. We're talking about poop, by the way. Here's Nevius' take on why the numbers just don't add up:
That's ridiculous. The large organizations, like St. Anthony's and Glide Memorial Church, serve thousands of hearty meals every day and then send their clients out into the neighborhood with virtually no place to use the restroom. No wonder there are feces and urine on their streets.
One study from cleanup crews at the Department of Public Works that tracked the "incidents of human waste and urine" in the neighborhood last year even recorded "600 to 800 incidents a month." According to Nevius, more of the local non-profits should work like Youth With a Mission, which offers public facilities and hires a monitor to prevent "drug use, prostitution or other unsavory behavior" in their bathrooms. Assuming the Youth With a Mission facilities are open 8 hours a day, then about 1,440 people a month don't have to defecate on the streets. So maybe the real problem is that those 600 to 800 folks who did just prefer to do their business en plein air, as it were.