A feel-good event marking the inclusion of a coffeehouse and maker space in the public library morphed into a protest raising the question of who gets to sit in the chairs.
The unscripted debate occurred at the opening celebration Wednesday evening of the new “Ives Squared,” a maker space, a collaborative working space and new outpost of the G Café inside the confines of the main library branch on Elm Street.
Social justice activists crashed the event, charging that the new plan represents a form of gentrification by inviting well-heeled library patrons to replace the homeless people who spend their days getting out of the weather and using computers in the library. They further charged that homeless patrons have been kicked out and ultimately banned for minor infractions in the library allegedly to make the new space more palatable for people who can afford to make a purchase at the new café.
City officials stressed Wednesday that the new amenities are for everyone.
The roughly 35 protesters almost didn’t get into the event Wednesday. They were met at the door of the new space by Police Chief Anthony Campbell, who told them they would not be allowed to disrupt the event. When they argued that they had the right to protest and to be allowed into the event, Campbell told them they could hold their signs but again cautioned them to not try to keep the event from happening.
The protesters mostly played by the rules but occasionally broke into chants of “Stop banning the homeless!” “Housing, not jails!” “Shelters not cafes!” and “People over profit.”
And when Mayor Toni Harp took the mic, they roundly booed her and at one point attempted to shout her down with the Game of Throne-esque call of “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
Harp swung back at the protesters, pointing out that the library is the one place that everyone in the city, regardless of income, can come and have access to technology. That drew big applause from supporters and more chants of “Shame!” from the protesters.
“And I want to say another thing,” Harp said as the chants grew louder, “I am not ashamed of New Haven. We are the only city in the state of Connecticut that provides over $1 million in our budget for the homeless.”
She said that she also was proud that the library is the place people can come if they’re hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The library also serves as a warming center for the homeless during below-freezing winter days.
City Librarian Martha Brogan also received a round of heckling. She challenged the critics to use the new space in a productive way to address the issue of homelessness suggesting that the library’s new 3D printers could be used to develop prototypes for inexpensive housing.
In addition to Ives Squared the CTNext grant has funded 13 other projects. They include: the Elm City Innovation Collaborative are Collaboratory, Concepts for Adaptive Learning, The District, Economic Development Corporation of New Haven, Gateway Community College, The Grove, Health Haven Hub, Make Haven, Mobile CSP, Science Park Development Corporation, A Small Instrumentation Fund at SCSU, The State House, and Town Green Special Services District.
Activist Norman Clement said given the high use of the downtown library by homeless people, the new café space could have been more useful as a shelter space with showers and other amenities. The protesters said their anger stemmed from a culmination of issues ranging from police interactions with the public to the recent city tax increase and raises for administration officials.
The stepped-up police presence Wednesday caused activists like Kerry Ellington to press Chief Campbell and Assistant Chief Ontoniel Reyes about the ongoing investigation into the controversial arrest of Jerome Richardson. In addition to Campbell and Reyes, Downtown District Manager Lt. Mark O’Neil and six patrol officers also were on hand. Two of the officers present were involved in the arrest of Richardson, who also was at Wednesday’s event.
Ellington said neither she nor Richardson has had any follow up with Internal Affairs other than a letter she received a few days ago. She said the group is losing faith in the police department’s promise to take the investigation of the incident seriously. Richardson, meanwhile, is seeking a legal remedy in the courts. Though a jury recently handed a big victory to police in the resolution of an accusation of false arrest, Ellington said she and Richardson have hope that a court would see his arrest differently.
Reyes said the investigation into the Richardson arrest is ongoing and the department is looking into every aspect of the complaint.
“We understand that emotions are high,” he said. “Our job is to be neutral and to make sure that everybody’s rights are protected whether it’s in Starbucks or the library. The library has the right to conduct its normal business and they have the right to use the library.”
Brogan said after the event that library would be the perfect place to host a town hall to address many of the concerns that people raised Wednesday. She also noted that the vast majority of the library is open to the public . The new cafe is a public-private partnership that will help the library provide more services, she said.
Activist Clement said he’d like to have that meeting. Meanwhile, a petition will be circulating to reinstate banned homeless patrons.
Click the Facebook Live videos below of the Ives Squared protest and opening ceremony.
posted by: NewHavenExpat15 on June 27, 2018 9:55pm
The homeless individuals talked about in this article literally cannot be described as patrons. A patron is someone who provides material support for something. If you’re just using free services, you cannot be a patron. Please correct this.
posted by: robn on June 27, 2018 9:55pm
Free Public Library is a bit of a misnomer. It actually isn’t free. People who work for a living and pay taxes pay for it.
posted by: FeelingBlue on June 27, 2018 10:01pm
Dear Omni-Present New Haven Protesters: save up your protest dollars to spend elsewhere. It’s a “Library.” It is not a homeless shelter, or a warming station, or a social-services dispensary. It is a library, a Free Library. You seem to forget that the Library already provides advice, a warm, secure place for the helpless during inclement weather, and direction to social services that have a trained staff and the resources to truly help those in need. The Library does this because it cares, because it is a generous resource for knowledge, education, entertainment, community and, yes, a bit of help in a hard moment, or life. This cafe is not for the privileged, it is for the person who wants to refresh during study or share a communal moment in downtown New Haven. The maker space provides high-quality instruction and cutting-edge technology to anyone and everyone that desires to make something, or to learn how to. Only in New Haven would the restless roving band of professional protesters with too much time on their hands and not enough smarts in their brains congregate to protest something that can only bring benefit to all the citizens who come to the library. And those protesting their expulsion from the library might consider not masturbating, doing drugs, or sleeping it off in full view of children and patrons who come to the library to enjoy its bounty. The Police know all the unfortunates, and have dealt, and deal with them in a respectful manner. How do I know? I have witnessed interactions on numerous occasions. Give it a rest, folks.
posted by: Paul Wessel on June 27, 2018 10:15pm
It was a bad day for humanity, with much to protest. The New Haven Free Public Library seems an odd target.
posted by: narcan on June 27, 2018 10:34pm
Their message is lost. Homeless people are at the library all the time. And like anyone else, when they are not soiling themselves, destroying library equipment, fighting, drinking, using drugs, and such anti-social behavior, they are free to come and go and enjoy the resources.
The argument that being homeless would connote some privilege to break rules without consequence is baffling to me.
For all their anger at The Man about building a cafe instead of a hostel, the professionally outraged certainly seemed to enjoy his food.
posted by: THREEFIFTHS on June 27, 2018 11:16pm
posted by: robn on June 27, 2018 9:55pm Free Public Library is a bit of a misnomer. It actually isn’t free. People who work for a living and pay taxes pay for it.
Would you say the same thing about out Homeless veterans?How about Home Less Children.How about those working people who use the Library as a day care center.
posted by: NewHavenExpat15 on June 27, 2018 9:55pm The homeless individuals talked about in this article literally cannot be described as patrons. A patron is someone who provides material support for something. If you’re just using free services, you cannot be a patron. Please correct this. When the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few:
the “legitimate” versus the homeless patron in the public library.
New Haven social justice warriors and their First World problems. Protesting a cafe in public library? Hilarious. How about protesting the Space Force… This city is a Shangri-La for us liberals. Go protest a Trump rally in a red state.
posted by: Bill Saunders on June 28, 2018 12:13am
You really need to work on your ‘white privilege’. It leaks through to often in your comments….
Free for ALL to use….... Libraries are a true pillar of free speech and equal access in our community. I am very surprised that you would talk out against such a valuable institution!
posted by: Bill Saunders on June 28, 2018 12:50am
While I understand your ‘message’, I don’t think you disparage the ‘institution’ of the Library. You can disparage the weird priorities this administration has given to ‘technology improvements, however. It’s weird that Starbucks is now closer to the library than ever!
Expect some more disturbing ‘Library Reports’ in the future. From what I hear on the street, a 3-D Printer and Vinyl Printer are in queue for the downtown branch o as well….. Is this setting up a ‘precedent’ regarding service upgrades in other ‘neighborhood branches’....
Sure this stuff ain’t cheap, and is ‘high tech stuff’ is a luxury at best…. (to the protester’s ultimate point).
From what I see from my cat-bird seat, NHPD is the department that could really benefit from some modern technology improvements. Mistaken Identity detainments in this day and age? Really????
An analog ‘IA Process’???? Who is kidding who here? Poor Accountability continues to cost this city time, money and resources….
Where are the real ‘priorities’?
Something is rotten, but it’s not the New Haven Free Public Library. Shamefully, it is just the distracting political theatre of the moment.
posted by: elmcitysoothsayer on June 28, 2018 2:51am
Disappointing to see these sort of protestors still taken seriously by any media outlet.
They’re the same sort of people who were oh-so-outraged when Joel Schiavone redeveloped downtown New Haven decades ago and formed the foundation that has made New Haven Connecticut’s best city.
They call themselves progressives but are effectively regressives in every respect.
posted by: HewNaven on June 28, 2018 7:16am
Is a LIBRARY really the best place to shelter the homeless when it deters everyone else from visiting? I’m actually happy they’re working on finding a better place for these poor people and making the library more accessible for young adults and working families, if that is the actual intention. Also, yes, there are rules when we share spaces. Follow those rules and you will never get banned.
posted by: wendy1 on June 28, 2018 7:32am
I do not fault Whole G or Brogan and wish them well.
What is disgusting is the presence of Mike Morand and Toni Harp bragging about the city’s “generous one million”. In 2016 I myself as a private citizen gave away one million to help my fellow citizens homeless or not. Moran has called me a TAKER and he represents Yale’s 30 BILLION none of which is spent on citizens. The library, when it is open, does offer warmth and computers, toilets, books, etc. to homeless but not 24/7 and homeless cant afford Whole G’s coffee. Coffee is free at IKEA with a free family card available to all. If the city and Yale actually housed and financially aided the homeless, our demonstrators who I support wouldn’t have to be there. Toni lies. The only support the homeless get here comes from hundreds of poor local non-profits. The two shelters, Grand Ave. and Columbus, are AWFUL. There may be a tiny selection of “halfway houses”. The “warming” centers open well after cold weather starts and have limited hours. The library and the train station take up some of the slack but also have very limited hours and you have to sit up to sleep or get thrown out.
posted by: Kevin McCarthy on June 28, 2018 8:24am
NewHavenExpat, libraries commonly use “patron” to describe people who use their services. Robn, NHFPL put “free” in its name to distinguish it from the earlier (and still existing) Institute Library located a couple of blocks away. The Institute, unlike NHFPL, charged a modest membership fee; currently membership starts at $25/year.
On a larger note, Brogan recognized early in her tenure that the library is a de facto shelter for homeless and mentally ill individuals. She arranged for staff from Liberty Community Services, which provides housing and other services to these individuals, to come to Ives on a regular basis to work with them. I volunteer at Sunrise Cafe, a breakfast program that primarily serves homeless individuals. Our guests routinely go to the library straight after breakfast.
Most homeless people at Ives aren’t disrupting the library’s services to other patrons; some are. The library has the obligation to serve the former, it has the right to ask the latter to be quiet or leave.
posted by: ClassActionToo on June 28, 2018 8:44am
No need to wonder why New Haven is just such a confused city with fantastically mixed up civic priorities.
posted by: robn on June 28, 2018 8:46am
My quip was directed at the protesters who don’t understand the mechanics of running a public library and how they need to diversify their services to survive. I agree with everything you said about welcoming all who behave with respect towards others.
“We are the only city in the state of Connecticut that provides over $1 million in our budget for the homeless.” But for the growing cadre of extreme-leftist, professional-protester, Democrat socialists, only violent revolution will suffice. And when CT Democrats have driven the “well-heeled” out of the State —who will pay for all the stuff that these same socialist Democrats demand? “Norman Clement said given the high use of the downtown library by homeless people, the new café space could have been more useful as a shelter space with showers and other amenities.” Hmm. All that humidity in a building that holds thousands of books?? BETTER IDEA: in Vatican City “three showers were constructed for the homeless inside a nondescript lavatory block beside the colonnade designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the late 17th century. The initiative was followed by an offer of free haircuts” https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/vatican-provides-homeless-with-showers-under-popes-initiative-they-treat-you-like-a-friend-here-10436447.html >>>I’m old enough to remember when library etiquette required communicating via whispers and hand signals. Sigh…
posted by: 1644 on June 28, 2018 9:31am
“Terry A. and Bealton Dumas, homeless patrons who are currently banned from the library.” The photo has three people in it, but only two persons identified. I was thinking that Terry might have been banned because she kept bringing her dog in, then realized that perhaps I was to assume that the white person was not homeless, in spite of her poor dress, simply because she was white? Her sign urging that a free, public institution be made free and public is perhaps a sign of detachment from reality as well. Is she Terry, or a random white person not worth mentioning?
posted by: Not Worthy on June 28, 2018 9:31am
The headline for this article should have been, ‘Mayor, Librarian, Protesters Hold Contest to See Who Can Make the Most Tone-Deaf Public Statement (Three-Way Tie Declared)’.
posted by: AverageTaxpayer on June 28, 2018 9:37am
Why can’t we ever have anything nice? Lol.
The powers that be need to continue their balancing act, making sure that the rights of the general public aren’t sacrificed to the needs of a problem population.
Who is to say where is the right place to draw the line? If anything, New Haven government is too accepting of anti-social behaviors. Everyone should be welcome, but everyone should also be expected to obey the rules.
posted by: alphabravocharlie on June 28, 2018 9:48am
Memo to Mayor Harp- pandering and appeasement accomplish nothing. The disgruntled will always find something else to complain about. Norm must be emboldened by his recent lawsuit. He figures the PD won’t mess with him while it’s pending.
posted by: Pardee on June 28, 2018 10:58am
While I do not support the protestors, I do thank them for making another of Mayor Harp’s photo-ops uncomfortable for her. From failing to put together a balanced budget to raising taxes 11%, she deserves to squirm at every public event. I hope another group will be there to protest her next photo-op be it a ribbon cutting or a faux purchase at a new establishment. From now until November 2019, she needs to continually be reminded that her constituents are not happy and and will not forget or go away. I hope to have a public opportunity to share my anger over her gross mismanagement of this City.
posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on June 28, 2018 12:05pm
Thank you to Kevin McCarthy, Christopher Schaefer, Not Worthy, and AverageTaxpayer for your thoughtful and informative comments.
A “Recommend” or"LIKE” or “thumbs-up” button for the Independent’s comments threads would be very welcome.
posted by: 1644 on June 28, 2018 12:16pm
In addition to city tax dollars, the library raised over $370K in operating funds from donations and grants. Mr. Morand, as well as Paul Bass, are listed as library donors. For the Stetson capital campaign, Yale University has pledged over $250K. If the protestors feel the city gives the library too much money, and that that money should be reallocated to homeless shelters, they should make their concerns known to their alders, especially at budget time.
Bill: I am pretty sure that yes, 3d printers are either already installed, or coming to the branches. The point of a library is to make expensive stuff available to all, usually for free, because (a) it can be shared, and (b) it’s paid for by taxes and donors. The concept isn’t different from art museums, where I can go see an expensive work for a fraction of the price of buying it. In fact, libraries often do have displays of visual arts, as well as hosting performance arts. Many think of themselves as atheneums, with books being just part of their cultural offerings.
posted by: Bill Saunders on June 28, 2018 1:02pm
3-D Printers are overkill, especially given the city’s troubled financial picture….
posted by: T-ski1417 on June 28, 2018 1:14pm
While I do not support the narrative of the protest in anyway I totally agree with Pardee in saying that there should be a demonstration/protest at everyone of Harp’s events just to make her as uncomfortable as possible.
posted by: Hill Resident on June 28, 2018 2:17pm
I know it might be a bit farfetched but I would suggest that rather than just complaining and protesting about what someone else is NOT doing (NOT providing homes for the homeless, NOT providing food for the hungry) that those individuals who have as much compassion for the people as they have passion for protesting would use their collective thoughts and energy to research/develop/donate/purchase the resources necessary to provide those services to those that desperately need them. Or do what YOU can until your philanthropic group gets the resources needed to provide what’s needed. Are you collecting non-perishable food items to either donate to a food pantry or perhaps operating one of your own? Are you contributing time and resources to a soup kitchen or hosting any homeless and hungry to your dining table or distributing meals on the green or taking them to a restaurant or buying ‘Eric on the same park bench everyday’ a meal? Do you have or do you work at a community garden growing healthy organic produce to distribute for free to those who are struggling to pay rent AND buy food-medicine? Are you cleaning out your closet and soliciting contributions from your friends and neighbors to host a clothing drive (has anyone seen JHop lately?)? Are you donating your time and energy to helping someone develop a skill that might help them to become employable? Do you volunteer to tutor kids after school? Did you offer someone your bathroom to shower ... did you buy them a haircut ... give them a dress or suit for their interview? Did you invite them into your home for restful night on a soft mattress? Did you cover ‘Eric on the same park bench everyday’ with a warm blanket while he slept? I know wendy1 can say she has but she is only one person ... and well ... she gave away all her ‘fish’ so someone could eat for a day rather than teaching them how ‘to fish’ so they would never be hungry. So what DO you do? Do you DO anything? Methinks the lady doth protest too much.
posted by: wendy1 on June 28, 2018 2:24pm
To be honest, library trips always gave me diarrhea. I like the VATICAN idea and suggest it be applied to cityhall which has lovely large restrooms and loads of empty offices—-ever wonder why you cant get a live person on the phone there??? Plenty of room for showers and benches, snack bar, etc….or the homeless can organize micro housing under all the empty desks. I am serious you guys.
@Bill Saunders Just a quick comment - 3D printers may seem like expensive, exotic technology, but they’ve come down in price in the past few years. Depending on the models, they may be less expensive than iPhones, Adobe software licenses, etc. I’m not trying to be pedantic, but it’s worth pointing out because no one questions whether the library should get new computers, and there’s not much difference here.
Anyway, there are a lot of concerns being lumped together, and I think the organizers/protesters did a good job of bringing important issues to light. Chris, Norm, and the rest of the crew care deeply about social justice, as well as New Haven, and have done more than enough to prove that throughout the years. There’s barely any compassion and support for the homeless in New Haven, let alone any attempts to build showers, housing, etc. and we need to stop shying away from the issue.
That said, I do think libraries need to modernize and innovate, and I’m excited to see what comes out of the new makerspace. There are opportunities here for cross-pollination between social movements, makers, and artists.
So there’s a lot to digest. If we’re ever going to form city-wide coalitions, we have to recognize we won’t always agree on tactics and certainly not on every issue… to me, this is yet another encouraging sign that there’s a simmering rage in New Haven, which will keep spoiling the party for the City’s leadership and especially the Mayor. Just another day in Harp City, where everyone is completely fed up, and there are plenty of reasons to be angry.
posted by: wendy1 on June 28, 2018 4:17pm
For Hill Resident—-I am lousy at fishing and yes, out of fish, but still am made aware of how much $$ our non-profits need but cant get. I continue to give away, food, clothing, and cash in small amounts….and I am never out of protests and complaints about local greed. I can personally name a dozen multi-millionaires in town not including Rosa DeLauro who seems to have moved south——none of whom give a damn about you or the homeless. I am not worth Jesus’ toe nail clippings but like him I tried…and failed to set a good example—-you know that expression about a camel going through the eye of a needle??
posted by: wendy1 on June 28, 2018 4:31pm
For FeelingBlue——you remind me of a neighbor (nice Ph.D. guy) who complained last year at a community meeting about public sex in the park…and I told him people used to pay a lot of money for live sex acts. His girlfriend laughed and now the guy has softened up, become more tolerant. You forget that humans are mammals and have mammal habits including masturbation, farting, belching, sex, sleeping, and eating. Folks in medicine know, understand, live, and work with all these behaviors. I have seen thousands of naked people and became a nudist many years ago. Try it, you might like it.
posted by: THREEFIFTHS on June 28, 2018 4:44pm
Dr. King said it well when it came to the Homeless.
“On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
“A Time to Break Silence,” at Riverside Church”
Martin Luther King Jr.
When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves.
Anthony J. D’Angelo
Tell you what.When that 11% tax hike kicks in along with you can now only write off 10,000.Thye are going to be a lot more Home less people.
posted by: Elmshaker on June 28, 2018 5:09pm
It is fitting to see Terry and Bealton with a bullhorn.
Terry and Bealton made themselves a nuisance in the library almost every day for three months. They set themselves up at a table where they ate, talked loudly, cursed, and started arguments with other patrons and their friends. Whenever a guard or staff member tried to politely inform them of the rules Terry and Bealton became abusive often cursing staff and threatening them with protests, legal action, or violence. Staff suffered the stress and abuse from them because it was winter and didn’t want to see them in the cold. All of their goodwill was repaid with lies and abuse by these two. The library is a much more peaceful, inviting place without them.
However, as they are very persuasive, they found a group of people gullible enough to believe their story of “oppression”. In my opinion they owe the advocacy group, the protestors, whoever they are, an explanation as to why they would risk the credibility of that group for their own ends.
Librarians at NHFPL work to help the poor and, yes, the homeless, to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and find jobs, food, and housing EVERY DAY. Bealton and Terry never availed themselves of these resources, to them the library is just an extension of the street.
To protestors I would say that you can’t have justice without truth, and that you should take a long, hard look at the stories you are hearing from Terry and Bealton- the only homeless “advocates” you are apparently interested in listening to. We live in dark times, serious times, and it’s time to drop the child’s play and silly signs and do the hard work for justice.
posted by: robn on June 28, 2018 5:20pm
Acknowledging that we live in a town settled by Puritans…I’m just going to go ahead and call this one…
Best post of 2018…
posted by: wendy1 on June 28, 2018 4:31pm
posted by: ClassActionToo on June 28, 2018 11:16pm
Large parts of the Green have been hijacked by the “homeless” and large areas almost always smell of urine. The library is often a carousel of “homeless” who often sleep, and when not, take over parts of the stacks for any manner of trade. The “homeless” always prefer cities like New Haven because they are so accommodating and resource “rich”. Two of the great, free and at one time, really wonderful benefits of New Haven, have basically been ceded to those who come but don’t go. A fine mess of a city because of someone’s strange version of a “progressive” political philosophy.
posted by: JimP@LibertyCommunity on June 29, 2018 5:18pm
I see our city library as a vibrant hub that bridges diversity and is a catalyst for change, education, self-improvement, and innovation. This week, New Haven Public Library set out to celebrate the addition of a shared working space and a coffee shop open to all - I commend them for their efforts. As part of the team of Liberty Community Services, a nonprofit that provides services to those experiencing homelessness, I see firsthand the significant need for increased services. Liberty is continually looking to extend our reach and make our services and support more accessible. And we are not alone. Our many partners throughout New Haven - including the Library, Mayor Harp, and Martha Brogan - are side-by-side with us on this front.
Our long-term success in ending homelessness will rely on a unified community willing to work differently, find ways and resources to create more affordable and deeply affordable housing options for all, and put in place more practice-proven support services.
posted by: wendy1 on June 29, 2018 5:38pm
ClassActionToo—-you dont even live here and you have never thought about what living on the street is like. Why dont you try it for a day or two
I walk in that park for years and have never smelled urine only the stench of greed coming from Yale and cityhall.
posted by: Paul Wessel on June 29, 2018 7:30pm
posted by: ClassActionToo on June 29, 2018 10:10pm
wendy1 oh wendy: I have lived in New Haven for 28 years.
posted by: WMACHQ on July 1, 2018 8:51am
All: I know of no one who has been “banned” from the Library. There have been those who have been “suspended” which is quite different. And there is a process even for that withvwarnings etc. there are rules of decorum for civic spaces and you lose the use of being at the library if those rules are not followed. After the suspension is completed, they are allowed to come back and use the Library. This has been in place for many years. I have found people defecating, urinating and other things even worse on Library property. If that is to be stopped, build a public toilet on the Green or somewhere downtown that ALL people can use - a “New Haven Free Public Toilet” if you will. No one would be fined, banned or castigated for its use, would there be protests against that? Andy Wolf and I have advocated for this for years. WMAC
posted by: WMACHQ on July 1, 2018 10:36am
BTW: Wendy, a public toilet can be built for well under a million dollars. WMAC
A model in Portland, Oregon “home to the Portland Loo, a unique, patented outdoor bathroom…The toilet’s durability can be chalked up to its defense-first design… No running water inside…No mirror…Bars at the top and bottom of the structure:… Cops can peep in near the ground to make sure there’s no more than one set of feet inside…graffiti-proof coating…Walls and doors made from heavy-gauge stainless steel…Portland recently sold one of its loos to Victoria in British Columbia for just under $100,000. It hopes to vend more…” https://www.citylab.com/design/2012/01/why-portlands-public-toilets-succeeded-where-others-failed/1020/ ***A separate sidewalk public facility, but of similarly durable design, could be created for showers.
posted by: wendy1 on July 2, 2018 10:03am
My toilet cost $60 at Home Depot.
There is a BIG New Haven Free Public Toilet right now in front of the State St. Station. I have no problem with men or dogs micturating on trees. If you haven’t seen it you wont know what it is. And then there are the nice bathrooms in cityhall. Some of the coffee establishments are generous with their facilities out of kindness. Like I said we are mammals.
posted by: WMACHQ on July 2, 2018 11:05am
Plans that are compatible with the historic context of the New Haven Green have been drawn and have been priced out for under $100k. Andy Wolf has them on file waiting for a donor that can fund the project. WMAC
@ WMACHQ I hope you’ll forward that article about the Portland Loo to Andy Wolf, so our New Haven Loo will not duplicate the design flaws in so many other municipal public toilets: flaws which often result in their malfunction and vandalism, followed ultimately by their removal.
posted by: Sabrina-in-NewHaven on July 2, 2018 9:21pm
I love going to Ives. I’ve had a library card since I moved here. There is no right answer. People should have been marching all along. The library is an easy target.
What I don’t like is the smell. It is disgusting and will give me a headache if I stay too long. Additionally, I don’t like being harassed by ‘patrons’. Some are so bold and I am not amused or flattered by it. People that work there are tired of the complaints. The homeless do however need somewhere to stay out of the rain because shelters force them to get up and out by 7 or 7:30 a.m. Then they have to go back and line up by 4 p.m. to get a spot inside before the shelters fill or they break curfew. It is worse when there’s snowy weather, but the number of inches of snow does not warrant them being allowed to stay indoors.
What we need are more spaces like Fellowship that provide a safe space for the homeless to convene during the day. And just remember many of the people who ‘patronize’ the library, also ‘patronize’ Starbucks. And as one worker told me, they’ve already found used needles in their bathroom at the Church Street location.
However, New Haven deserves a hub to meet and grow businesses. I mean are you kidding me?!!! Why are these folks not protesting when New Haven allows another luxury apartment building to be built. We don’t need more shelters. We need more affordable homes built for the homeless especially. Shelters are by far not the solution.
Where is the move to bring more developers here to build energy efficient homes that single people can live in? Our city needs both. Shaming the library is not going to cut it.
posted by: WMACHQ on July 3, 2018 4:31pm
Mr Schaefer, I’d love to show you the plans, Wendy, you too. WMAC
posted by: wendy1 on July 4, 2018 9:52pm
For WMACHQ——I am grateful for the Green and wouldn’t really want to add, subtract, or develop any part of this public masterpiece. The space can be temporarily used by many different groups. I was with the Green Party 20 years ago when we rented it for a day and I was responsible for the 6 porta-potties. I love the Xmas event every year, etc.
The homeless and the former Occupy site are a side effect of the country’s extreme poverty. I keep telling everyone that the solution is subsidized/affordable housing in buildings right here in town.
By the way, my brother lived in third world countries where people have NO plumbing. He never complained about the smell. Two-thirds of the world do NOT have flush toilets—-I read a wonderful book about the world’s toilets written by a young woman. I know what a Toto is.