City of Kamloops to provide storage units for homeless people

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KAMLOOPS – It can be a struggle for homeless people to carry all of their belongings day in and day out, and the City of Kamloops is trying to help ease that burden.

The city has announced it will be building storage lockers at 48 West Victoria St., right across from city hall.

“It’s a mini storage for the homeless population to allow them to, during the day, drop off stuff that they would generally have to carry with them,” the city's senior communications and community engagement advisor Kristen Rodrigue says.

“It allows them to access services easier and it will work as a hub to connect with them with other resources and hopefully get them on the path to wellness," she says.

The city has been looking at other communities that have storage units for their homeless population and to see what they can do to make the program runs smoothly.

“We are looking at other facilities and how they run. There is one down in Vancouver that is kind of the poster child for this work and we have been in contact with them,” Rodrigue says.

The city is still finalizing the operational model of the storage units and the building. The contract for the day-to-day operation of the building hasn't been finalized yet. It hasn't been determined yet how long people will be allowed to store their items in the units.

“There is a lot of different factors we need to consider when building the actual operational model of this,” Rodrigue says. “There are liability things we need to deal with, the fact that we are holding onto other people’s belongings, what happens if they don’t pick it up, and how to deal with cleanliness."

Though the city can’t predict how effective these storage units will be in limiting the use of shopping carts by the homeless population, their goal is to help simply lower the need for them.

“That’s where it’s aimed, where they won’t need a shopping cart because they won’t need to carry all of their belongings with them all the time,” she says.

The goal is to open the storage units is on Apr. 1.

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