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Is Sacramento City Hall's restroom policy unfair to homeless? | News

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Is Sacramento City Hall's restroom policy unfair to homeless?

Before you go into the ladies or men's room at city hall, be prepared to check in first. In the past month, people have been required to sign-in and check out a key to use the public restroom.

“It’s more of a process where you can't just go in and just use the bathroom. You have to sign-in and sign out and get a key,” described Suzanne Hastings, a homeless activist camped outside city hall.  “It kind of makes me feel like I'm in grade school.”

Getting the key from security to use the restroom may seemed like a non-issue but to the homeless said it’s a slap in the face.

The bathroom rules abruptly changed during the height of the homeless protests at city hall. Countless activists were trying to overturn the city's anti-camping ordinance and some felt this policy was the city's way to keep them out.

“I believe they started it to try to add an extra burden or an extra hurdle to the protest,” said James Faygo Clark, a homeless man.

City officials said this change wasn't a homeless issue but a public health issue.  They said cleaning crews have found the restrooms in unsanitary conditions.

Having a sign-in sheet is the city's attempted to keep their toilets clean. Last June, the city closed the restrooms across the street at Cesar Chavez Park because of similar issues.

Homeless looking for a public restroom have had to look elsewhere. Homeless are still allowed to use the restrooms at city hall as long as they check-in.