Bathrooms on the Common, Please
The lack of 24/7 bathrooms on the Boston Common and at Copley Square continues to be a serious public health problem which affects homeless people who sleep outside as well as the many people and tourists who enjoy these beautiful parks. Because of Covid 19 we need to have public bathrooms open 24/7 more than ever. Many homeless people formerly used the bathrooms at the Copley Library which has been closed since March. Hotels will not let non-guests use the facilities. Six weeks ago, I thought getting some 24/7 bathrooms to these very busy locations would be a simple thing. I advocated and wrote to the mayor, the city council, Parks and Recreation, the Massachusetts Public Health Commission, the governor and many others a number of times. I got very few responses but still no 24/7 bathrooms – or porta potties. I got bounced from one city department to another with no success and they were clear that “it’s not something we do.”
Actually, there already are some great bathrooms on the Common: at The Frog Pond and at the Visitors Information Center. However, the City of Boston doesn’t manage them. The Frog Pond bathrooms are managed by the Skating Club of Boston and close at 4 PM. It would be great if they would stay open later or all night. The Visitors Information Center on the Common is managed by the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Their bathrooms reopened in early September, but only from nine to three and are closed all day Monday.
Clearly we need to advocate for longer hours at these existing bathrooms, as well some porta-potties on the Common and at Copley as soon as possible. I believe that the city should collaborate with the Skating Club and the Greater Boston Convention Bureau and provide funding so they can extend their hours and hire the staff needed to maintain and supervise these bathrooms. I also believe it’s possible to use porta-potties in a safe and clean manner.
MBA Charitable Foundation Social Media Campaign
Thank you for all those who participated in the MBA Charitable Foundation So-cial Media Campaign. Your votes helped us distribute funds to various agencies who have worked endlessly in supporting those affected by the COVID-19 pan-demic across the Commonwealth.
Each campaign awarded $5,000 to six organizations. All selected organizations received a base of $500 and we used your input and the general public to allo-cate the remaining $2,000. Here is a review of the September campaign:
•Boston Health Care for the Homeless – $550
•Bread of Life, $1,650
•Friends of Boston’s Homeless – $700
•Greater Boston Food Bank – $550
•Project Hope – $1,050
•Boston Resiliency Fund – $500