Safe Storage is a secure locker program for people who are homeless in Whatcom County. Our goal is to increase the chances for people to transition off the streets and into permanent housing by providing storage and a personal connection.
"[Safe Storage Lockers] can make an already stressful situation just a little bit less stressful"
"drag[ing belongings] with you all day, [is] physically and mentally draining in an already draining situation"
"it's always a set back having to replace things again, and again"
Currently, there are no storage options available to people who are homelessness in Whatcom County. This leaves two options for valuable and important belongings, such as personal documents, memorabilia, medications, clean change of clothes, and more: either carry it around all day, everywhere you go, or leave it vulnerable to theft and confiscation.
Providing a safe place to store belongings provides an opportunity for people to go about their daily life without the constant mental and physical burden of carrying everything they have with them, all day long. Having a secure place to leave belongings relieves stress and stigma.
This gives people the ability to go to work or school, look for a job or housing, attend provider appointments, work on personal goals and, ultimately, obtain a permanent place to live.
Safe Storage has been working to provide this service by creating an innovative storage program that allows people to access their belongings whenever they need access to them and develops personal connections with others. In response to the lengthy time line of getting this locker program set up, Safe Storage opened the Locker Truck, a big, ugly, box truck with repurposed school lockers in the back, in January 2019.
The Truck was open every Saturday from 10am-2pm for people to access and exchange their belongings as well as get coffee, food, clothes, and other basic need items. During Locker Truck operations, the importance of having access to belongings whenever people needed it, not just on Saturday mornings, came up again and again.
The Locker Truck closed in June to focus full time on getting the Outdoor Storage Lockers built and ready for use!
The Safe Storage Lockers are outdoor, 24-hour access lockers for people who do not have housing, free of charge.
To obtain a locker, individuals must fill out an application. All eligible applications are entered into a lottery and selected applicants sign a month-to-month lease agreement in exchange for a locker.
Each locker has a personal key and is large enough to fit a suitcase, change of clothes, sleeping gear, and more.
Along with providing secure storage, Safe Storage also promotes a personal connection with each locker tenant. It is this personal connection that we believe is key to helping people work on their personal goals that could eventually lead to transitioning off of the streets and into permanent housing.
If you would like to learn more about the Safe Storage Locker program, please send us a message!
Safe Storage Lockers needs volunteers like you!
We are currently looking for volunteers who can:
Build and install lockers
Build personal connections with Locker Tenants
Conduct daily checks at the locker site
Fundraise and help plan events