SALEM -- While volunteering at a warming shelter this winter, Salem Mayor Anna Peterson says she learned the number one request from the homeless is toilets.

She says it's a basic human need the city hasn't taken seriously.

Now, the city and some downtown churches are talking about installing portable restrooms for the homeless.

The Statesman Journal reports the issue will be discussed at two meetings next week: a March 17 meeting of the Safe Streets and Parks Task Force and a March 19 City Council meeting.

Downtown property owners also say the toilets are needed to eliminate human waste that has been found in bushes, on sidewalks and parking garages.

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