Officials in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, will open a self-storage facility on April 9 designed to temporarily house items for the homeless. Devised in partnership with the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society (KAFS), the facility will allow homeless residents to store their personal belongings, with the exception of drugs, firearms, perishables and shopping carts, according to the source. The service is free.
“For people who are homeless, a storage facility can be the first step to getting off of the streets,” said Jen Casorso, the city’s social- and community-development supervisor. “Being able to store their belongings assists homeless people with stabilizing their lives, restoring trust, building relationships, connecting with services, attending training and interviews, and even going to work.”
The facility at 48 W. Victoria St., across from city hall, will be open four hours per day, seven days per week, excluding holidays. Two staff members will be present during operating hours. Those who store items will be required to check in with the facility every two to three days either in person or by phone, the source reported.
The program is patterned after a similar one in Vancouver that’s run in conjunction with First United Church. Kamloops staff traveled to Vancouver earlier this month to witness the program operate firsthand, according to the source.
The facility will also help coordinate other support programs based on the needs of tenants.
The project was partially funded by the federal government. The facility is housed in a former gas station. The structure was most recently occupied by the city’s graffiti task force.
KAFS provides support activities and programs for indigenous Canadians living the city.
Kamloops This Week, Storage Facility for Kamloops’ Homeless Will Open on April 9