October 2, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toilet Changes Location and Focus
Our Pop-up Toilet has left the SHED and has now moved to a new location before the weather turns (knock on corrugated steel). In addition to changing locations, the focus of those supporting and monitoring the toilet has turned from education to outreach.
The big orange twin toilet facility is now located at Main Street and Henry Avenue and will be at this location for one week starting October 1. Downtown Winnipeg BIZ administrative and CHAT (Community Homeless Assistance Team) staff are now monitoring the facility. In addition to keeping the toilet safe and clean, the staff are handing out care packages to those in need, containing donated items from several organizations and individual donors. This location is also giving CHAT staff a satellite base for connecting with old clients and making appointments with new clients in order to assist them in finding places to stay.
To date, the Main Street and Henry Avenue location has seen approximately 30 – 40 people using the toilet facility as well as nearly 200 individuals have been provided with supplies.
“Clients of Siloam Mission have been instrumental in the success of the Pop-up Toilet in all the locations we’ve been this summer, and now the toilet is engaged in what Siloam does best. The toilet is more than just a place to go, it’s about dignity and about public resources and our hope is that it has caused people to think and question the need for permanent public toilets,” said Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, Project Coordinator – Placemaking and Transportation, Tracey Umali.
“It has been wonderful to see this project making an impact and generating conversation as it moves around downtown Winnipeg – and now we are very happy to see it come home to serve our community and our neighbourhood here on Henry Street,” says Jim Bell, CEO of Siloam Mission.
We’re flush with pride for how the toilet has been received and can’t say how much we appreciate the efforts of our partners, including Siloam Mission, Wins Bridgman from BridgmanCollaborative Architecture, and City Councillors Gerbasi, Gilroy and Orlikow.
Donations for the Pop-Up Toilet are still being accepted at downtown locations, including the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ (426 Portage Avenue), Siloam Mission (300 Princess Street) and “The Brown Cross” (676 Main Street).
Following its time at the fourth location, the toilet will be moved into storage and the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, along with its partners will access and evaluate the successes and trials of the pilot project to make improvements for next year.
- Care packages may include
- Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
- Feminine hygiene products
- Granola bars
- Juice boxes
- Water bottles
- Other donated items
- Partners in the project are:
- Downtown Winnipeg BIZ
- Siloam Mission
- BridgmanCollaborative Architecture, Wins Bridgman, CEO
- The facilities moved locations every few weeks and those locations included:
- SHED – Graham @ Hargrave (Third Location)
- Across from Portage Place (Second Location)
- Holy Trinity Church (First Location)
- Main Street at Henry (Final Location)
- Capital funding for this project comes from Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, proceeds from CEO Sleepout, as well as from budgets of individual City of Winnipeg Councillors, John Orlikow, Jenny Gerbasi, and Cindy Gilroy
- Total costs of this pilot will be under $100,000 including marketing and awareness campaign
- Standard operating hours are from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm Monday to Friday
- There are two toilets with one of the two designed to be fully accessible
- They are being serviced by Kings
Here are some recent survey results from Pop-up Toilet patrons
- 69 percent of users found the toilet by happening upon it, 15 percent by word-of-mouth
- Over 75 percent found the toilet design bold and engaging
- Over 98 percent found the last location at Merchant Park to be a good location
- 72 percent felt a permanent facility should be built there
- 57 percent said having a safe and available public toilet would increase the amount of time they spend in downtown Winnipeg
- 81 percent said they would support the City of Winnipeg spending money to build permanent public toilets in the downtown, and 17 percent said they may support it
Some Comments of Survey Respondents
- More public toilets please!
- Great idea – hope to see more of these all around Winnipeg
- About time! – How about a shower for the homeless!
- Great location – Portage + Edmonton by bus stop – great to see it is accessible