San Diego's Storage for the Homeless
The city of San Diego, California, has programs that are trying very hard to help those at the bottom of the ladder. One in particular has the potential to open new avenues that could make a big difference because it is helping individuals to help themselves.
San Diego’s new storage facility for the homeless opened in the Sherman Heights area recently.
The 22,000 square-foot storage connect Center has 500 lockable storage bins that will allow those using the facility to store their belongings so that they can go to school, work, job interviews or seek support services. All are in use and there ss talk of expanding the program
Mayor Kevin Faulconer has touted the facility as part of his effort to fix the homeless issue in San Diego.
“Many homeless individuals have to choose between staying with their personal belongings and going to a doctor’s appointment or job interview. This storage facility will change that by giving folks the opportunity to focus on improving their lives rather than worry about losing their possessions. Just as importantly this will help clear our neighborhoods and public spaces of shopping carts tents and debris,” the mayor said.
The size and success of the project has become a magnet for the individuals using the facility which has created problems. This has necessitated expensive police surveillance as well as other significant expenses. The approach underlines the need for mini storage facilities spread around the city, perhaps with a maximum of ten units in any one location.
As a follow-on to this storage program, the I Wood Mobile Self storage Units, MSU’s might be a way of building on the storage bin momentum as a way of showing that there is a realistic and practical way for many people to start working their way back into society. Safe storage is very significant to people currently experiencing monumental challenges.
A significant percentage of the target group have some level of construction knowledge. IKEA customers once they learn how the concept works they very soon began to take pride in being able to assemble even simple things like chairs and tables themselves.
Housing challenged individuals are likely to react in the same way if a program could be developed for the opportunity to be realistic and achievable. If it can be shown they can not only assemble the storage units themselves but a group of them can actually manufacture the kits so creating jobs and income for themselves. Such a program could promote hope and faith that the future can get better if they have the opportunity to help themselves.
Homeless people have a lot of time and patience and many prove they can make a little bit of money collecting such things as recyclables. If they could expand their recyclables to include lumber from construction sites, windows and doors from skips etc. they have the ingenuity to do this.