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.”

Our Mission Through education and advocacy, PHLUSH helps local governments and citizen groups to provide equitable public restroom availability and to prepare for a pipe-breaking seismic event with appropriate ecological toilet systems.

Our Vision Toilet availability is a human right and well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.

Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH) was founded in Portland, Oregon and today collaborates with groups across North America.

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

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