Portland Rescue Mission

February 18, 2009

A unique example of a privately owned and operated restroom that serves the public 24/7.

Restroom facility in the lobby of Portland Rescue Mission

Portland has a unique example of a privately owned and maintained “public restroom”.   In its building at 111 W Burnside in Old Town Chinatown, the Portland Rescue Mission runs a state of the art facility which is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.


Two stalls in the attractive lobby of their service center serve more than 400 people a day.  While most of the users are PRM’s homeless clients, this attractive attended facility also welcomes  local residents, downtown workers, commuters and tourists.

A case study of the Portland Rescue Mission’s restroom project appears as part of a December 2008 paper entitled “Public Restrooms and Community Need: Advocacy and Implementation in Portland, Oregon” Researcher Mary-Rain O’Meara makes the case that “being able to access a toilet is a fundamental aspect of community development because it ensures that all people can move freely in their city and relieve themselves with dignity.”

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    Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human, or PHLUSH, is an all-volunteer advocacy group founded in Portland's Old Town Chinatown. We collaborate with grassroots organizations, environmental activists, code officials and city planners.

    PHLUSH is a member of the World Toilet Organization and a partner in the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance.

    PHLUSH believes that toilet availability is a human right and that well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.

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