Nov 7 - Dec 31, 2019

Dorothy’s Place


With love, respect and compassion, Dorothy’s Place provides essential services and transitional support to people experiencing the injustice of homelessness and extreme poverty.

The Big Idea

2.3 billion people, 40% of the global population, do not have access to a toilet. Does it surprise you that thousands of people in the Monterey Bay area are included in that 2.3 billion? Yes, here in our coastal paradise, thousands of homeless people don’t have access to adequate sanitation, including flush toilets.

We decided to do something about that in 2016 . We remodeled an old nightclub and created the Chinatown Health Services Center, a third of which is devoted to hygiene with flush toilets and private showers, open to the public 24/7, at no cost to the consumer. Why?

  • Homeless people need a place to “go” that is sanitary and dignified.
  • Homeless women are recognized as tops in prevalence of Urinary Tract Infections. With no access to toilets and showers, women hold urine longer than they should and have no way to clean themselves properly.
  • Everybody benefits from public sanitation. Open defecation allows E-coli in our water and soil.

Imagine being a woman in your period and entering a port-a-pottie full to the brim with human waste. It's just wrong.
Support of toilets and showers for homeless people means health, hygiene, dignity in a safe place 24/7.

I was a little afraid at first, you know? Then my friends walked me over there [to the Chinatown Health Services Center] to show me. They said 'don't worry, it's going to be OK'. When I walked in, it was warm inside, it was clean, and brightly lit. They had feminine products for women to use that I couldn't afford myself - they're so expensive. And they were really nice and friendly and walked me to the shower. I felt safe. Now I have a job there on the night shift. I get to do the same for other people. No one wants to see this go away. Women come to the door at night and tell me, 'Thank God you're open. I really have to 'go'. I helped a woman with five children get showers recently. It's too necessary. We can't let it go away.

- Michelle Bautista