fbpx
Dallas, TX
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
42°
English Español

Social

Fine Print

English Español

Homeless Porta-Potties Cost City Six Figures

City

Porta-Potties at Jonsson Library | Image by Noah DeGarmo / The Dallas Express

Donate to Dallas Express to Keep it Free

Dallas’ Office of Homeless Solutions (OHS) provided an update on its Porta-Potty Initiative during a recent meeting of the Housing and Homelessness Solutions committee, showing that the program was costing Dallas taxpayers 350% more than was estimated.

The Porta-Potty program was started by OHS in February to help mitigate unsanitary conditions in areas of the city taken over by homeless and vagrant encampments. The initial estimate for seven units over 90 days was $4,000.

However, in the memo provided by OHS director Christine Crossley, it turned out that the porta-potty program cost Dallas taxpayers $18,342 for the 90-day pilot — over a 350% increase.

A factor in the increase, according to Director Crossley, is that the original vendor pulled out of the project and “advised they would no longer work with OHS due to security concerns, stemming from working with those experiencing homelessness.”

After OHS sourced a new vendor, United Site Services, it claimed that “the cost of porta-potties had increased” in part because of additional cleaning needs in the units in the face of unsanitary conditions.

Originally, the porta-potties were only to be cleaned three times a week, but now OHS intends to clean the units five times a week.

The pilot program’s results have led OHS to severely adjust its cost estimation. The original proposal claimed that seven porta-potties for a year would cost $23,000. Now, Director Crossley suggests that the program will require $105,726 — an increase of nearly 360%.

Under the new cost estimation, the City will spend roughly $15,000 for each porta-potty.

Porta-Potty

Porta Potties at Jonsson Library | Image by Noah DeGarmo / The Dallas Express

For comparison, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Dallas is $1,244, according to a report by Apartment List. For a year, the price would be roughly $14,928.

Crossley concluded that “the Porta-Potty Initiative continues as an annually funded program and that additional research into more permanent options at sites needing longer-term support be made.”

A recent poll conducted by The Dallas Express suggested that roughly 27% of Dallas residents considered the increase in homelessness and vagrancy to be a factor significantly contributing to the city’s shrinking population.

Another poll, published by Downtown Dallas Inc., found that 76% of respondents felt that homelessness is a significant issue affecting their perception of downtown Dallas.

Under the initiative, there are currently seven porta-potty locations scattered within the city limits, including ones at 1700 Chestnut St., 2600 Hickory St., 2600 Dawson St., 2710 Gould St., J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center.

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

Subscribe to Comments
Notify of
guest

9 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Michael
Michael
1 month ago

The city council should take the $1000.00 a month car allowance (robbery)they voted for themselves, and could add more potties.

William McBreen
William McBreen
1 month ago

The so-called homeless should be rounded up and put in a homeless camp where they can be catered to

Frank Hayes
Frank Hayes
Reply to  William McBreen
1 month ago

What, like the death camps of Hitlers era? Check your privilege, you could be in their shoes.

Kay
Kay
Reply to  Frank Hayes
1 month ago

working for a living is a privilege we all can have. Check your self righteousness.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 month ago

The homeless needs portable potties for their quality of life. The city waste thousands of tax payer dollars unnecessary staff, so stop complaining about helping the homeless who are most in need.

Dave Beavers
Dave Beavers
Reply to  Anonymous
1 month ago

Very courageous of you to post anonymously. And you are so off base.

Kay
Kay
Reply to  Anonymous
1 month ago

quality of life – that’s funny

Dave Beavers
Dave Beavers
1 month ago

Just another example of wasteful municipal spending. I’d bet that only a very small fraction of these people would actually even use these shathouses, unless they “live” very close to them. Someone else here mentioned their “quality of life.” Sigh. If you are worried about that, you don’t choose homelessness. And yes, in spite of what many might think, most homeless people CHOOSE it for one reason or another. I have known and assisted in providing for homeless people. That was a few years back, but motivations have not changed. Most people choose homelessness and they do it for a myriad of reasons. The most glaring two reasons are these-some want to be free to do their drugs with impunity. Some others choose it because they are mentally ill and because of that, they don’t get along with their families and many are flat out hostile to folks that try to help them. I’ve encountered all of this myself. Some other reasons include guys fleeing things like paying child support, some are fugitives from justice, others just want to be “off the grid” and not able to be found for one reason or another. I’ve encountered all of this. The answer to this mushrooming homelessness dilemma in the USA (which has mushroomed 10,000% since 1989) is not porta potties and soup kitchens. It lies in reinstating our ability to institutionally treat mental illness! Those who are old enough remember how we systematically started dismantling this ability to treat people starting in the 1980s. By 1999, we had almost entirely dismantled our nation’s institutional ability to treat mental illness and disabilities en masse. We have to regain the ability to do so! That is where the answer lies, my friends.

Keepin it real!
Keepin it real!
Reply to  Dave Beavers
1 month ago

We only dismantled the Mental Health Services facilities and moved them into the jails where we now incarcerate people with mental health issues. Americans would rather pay their taxes for punitive “fixes” like jailing people rather than pay for those pesky facilities to actually address mental health. It’s like Winston Churchill famously said, “Americans will eventually do the right thing….once they’ve exhausted every other possibility.”