Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Harrisburg deploys portable toilets to assist homeless population

Harristown and the HDID installed this line of portable toilets on Market Street last weekend.

More temporary toilets have arrived on the streets of Harrisburg, as the city today announced the installation of six portable latrines.

Two units have been placed in three different areas: at the intersection of Blackberry and River streets; along S. 10th Street near the Mulberry Street Bridge; and along S. 2nd Street below the I-83 overpass (just south of Shipoke).

According to the city, Fire Chief Brian Enterline, along with the Capital Area Coalition on Homelessness, identified the three sites as prime areas that would help serve those without permanent housing.

“During this health emergency, the city of Harrisburg is committed to doing everything it can to help its most vulnerable populations,” said Mayor Eric Papenfuse. “These portable latrines will allow those that are homeless to have access to safe, sanitary facilities. Practicing good hygiene is a key to helping slow the spread of the virus.”

Each Port-O-Let has a hand sanitizer dispenser within the unit, according to the city. The units will be cleaned and re-supplied three times per week, the city said.

Last week, the city deployed portable washbasins in Reservoir and Riverfront parks, and, on Saturday, Harristown Enterprises and the Harrisburg Downtown Improvement District set up sanitation stations in front of 333 Market Street (pictured).

All of the facilities are designed primarily to serve the city’s itinerant population during the COVID-19 health emergency, as many buildings with publicly accessible bathrooms have been closed.

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