Thursday, December 01, 2011
Honoree: Simon Norris
Notable Achievement: Being the first person to have a letter addressed and delivered to him in a public restroom
The Story: Norris, a homeless recovering alcoholic, requested temporary housing from the city of Bournemouth, England, but was denied. With nowhere else to go, in January 2007 Norris paid a £3 deposit for a key to an out-of-commission public restroom. And there he stayed. A few weeks later, Norris requested assistance from a local housing charity, giving his address as “The Disabled Toilet, The Lower Pleasure Gardens, Bournemouth.” Des Persse, a housing officer, saw Norris’s request and wanted to help him, so he wrote him a letter and sent it to the loo. A few days later a postman slipped it under the door. “I was rather surprised when I actually received a letter,” said Norris. The association assured him they would try to find temporary housing for him, but until they do, Norris is perfectly happy to be squatting in the bathroom.