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Staying Healthy
Gail Goynes,, Apr 15, 2003

When you are homeless it is hard to find a place to use the restroom. Sometimes it doesn�t matter if you just have to pee, then you can just go between two cars, or in the bushes. But if you really need to go, then it is better to use a real bathroom. I have been living in and around San Francisco for quite some time, so I have compiled many useable bathroom locations in my head. I usually hang out in the Haight Ashbury district, so that is where most of the bathrooms are that I use.

On Haight and Shrader there is a bar called Murrios that I always visit to use their bathroom, and sometimes people offer to buy me drinks. This is a great added bonus; of course you have to be twenty-one to use this location. It also helps if you look clean and nice. If you are dirty, wearing rags, and carrying a lot of stuff, they will be less likely to let you use their bathroom. I have an advantage because they know me and I am a frequent customer, I am also friends with a lot of regulars who go to this bar.

One afternoon I went in to use the bathroom as I always do, and on the way out I happened to glance down under the bar stools and I spotted a bill on the ground. So I grabbed it and put it in my pocket, being as slick as I could. I thought it was a ten, but it turned out to be a hundred-dollar bill. It was pouring down rain outside, but this certainly brightened up my day.

Some of the other places that will let you use their bathrooms are: The McDonald�s on Stanyan and Haight, and All You Knead on Haight and Ashbury. At McDonald�s you have to go up to the front register and ask them to buzz the bathroom door to let you in. When you go to All You Knead restaurant you walk through all the way to the back right of the restaurant and go up the narrow staircase to the restrooms. This is a good thing to know if you are caught on a walk with a weak bladder.
It is also good to utilize the facilities provided in the parks. My favorite bathroom is located in Golden Gate Park. The one I like best is just beyond the large children�s playground on the hill next to the picnic tables. The women�s side is very spacious and usually kept clean and stocked with toilet paper. There are about ten different stalls to chose from. I have a certain stall that I always use because the door is always closed, so it doesn�t get used very often. There is also a public bathroom in the Panhandle Park at Ashbury. At Stanyan and Waller at the corner of the park there is a twenty-four hour Space Toilet that is free. You push the button and you get twenty minutes to do whatever you need to do.
If you find yourself down on Market Street you can use the bathrooms on the first floor of the mall at Powell Street. You can also use the downtown library on Larkin and Grove Street; this is a very nice large bathroom. I hope these ideas can help you out next time you really need to pee, or do whatever it is you do in the bathroom

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