All 43 SF Fire Stations Have Restrooms Open to The Public
SF Fire Stations are required to keep their ground floor bathrooms open to the public between 9am – 6pm. This is a little known policy that is not well publicized, or written on signs. In fact, the only way the homeless may hear about it is through word of mouth.
Public sanitation is important. By ignoring the needs of human beings living on our streets we endanger them and the general health of our city. Ignoring the needs of our most vulnerable citizens is not a policy, it is simply irresponsible governance.
The SFFD policy allows firefighters to deny access to anyone who appears inebriated or to deny access if they need to leave the station to fight a fire or go on a call outside the station. This is yet another responsibility we drape on our firefighters because our municipality has not acted. There are many alternatives to having the disenfranchised defecate on public streets and sidewalks. This video outlines many of them:
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We have Human Rights Activist Michael Petrelis to thank for the policy that allows public access to fire station bathrooms. His single voice campaign in 2015 persuaded SFPD to enact a policy allowing expanded toilet access. The memo sent to all SF firehouses from the Deputy Chief of Operations back 2015 is here.
You see someone in need, tell them about this policy, we have fire stations all over the city: