Having a safe place to store one’s belongings allows people the opportunity to apply for jobs or housing, go to school or work, attend medical or other service provider appointments, and go about one's daily life without having to carry all of their belongings with them or worry about loss or theft.
The group’s website personalizes the need: “What would you do with all of your possessions, like extra clothing, IDs, keepsakes, medicine, electronics and chargers, birth certificates, and other important documents, if you were constantly living in transition and had no place to call home? Without a safe place to store these important personal belongings, most people experiencing homelessness carry everything they own with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This is a huge mental and physical burden.”
Safe Storage Bellingham, a project by local Non Profit BasicsPNW headed by Carmen Gilmore and Brittany Jones, is working to provide a place for people who are homeless to safely store their belongings. Access to Safe Storage's specially-designed outdoor lockers will eliminate barriers towards finding permanent housing and transitioning off the streets.
The Safe Storage committee is a combination of folks who are housed as well as those currently un-housed. I sat in on several of the team meetings and was struck by the inclusiveness I experienced. Those who often don’t get a voice were welcomed, respected and an integral part of the team. Together they are working on a pilot program to bring these lockers into Bellingham by the end of 2018.
According to the website the “locker users will have a personal key code and 24-hour access to their belongings. Each locker will be large enough to fit suitcases, backpacks, personal hygiene items, clothing and more. The front of the locker will have a mail slot for optional mail delivery and communicating with the user via written notes.”
If you would like to learn more about Safe Storage and help fund the pilot project visit the Go Fund Me page at www.gofundme.com/safestoragepnw. 2roofs Real Estate team also supports Safe Storage Bellingham. The way it works is when you are in the market to buy or sell a home (or know someone who is) simply choose 2roofs as your Realtor and let us know you would like us to donate to Safe Storage. All of our donations come from our own Realtor Fee and are at no additional cost.
The heart of the team according the webpage: “This project is about more than just a safe place to store belongings, it is about building relationships and making sure that some of our most vulnerable community members are being supported…It is about safety, love, respect, and compassion.”
Sean Hall is cofounder of 2roofs Real Estate Team at Windermere. 2roofs is a Top 1% Realtor who donates a portion of their fee from every sale to a partner non-profit and connects their client with the story through a hardcover, keepsake book. Learn more at 2roofs.com.