SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A new storage program is expected to kick off this week in Santa Cruz.
The program, kick started by the Santa Cruz Warming Center Program, will give the homeless community a place to store their belongings in a secure location.
Brent Adams, Program Director of the Warming Center program says this will give the homeless community some basic structure, "people are so desperate in the population who sleep outside that some people are taking other people's belongings. so if things were safe, right away that would create basic structure in their life of their belongings to where people can actually start building their lives from."
Adams also says when individuals have to carry around all of their belongings it hinders their ability to be part of the community. "Their actually trapped by the stuff. sometimes carts of it, it's on wheels or they're carrying it on their backs, bedrolls. So that stuff actually traps them in this identity, that actually identifies them as homeless," said Adams.
This new storage facility is located at 1220 River Street in Santa Cruz. Adams says while this location is not ideal he is hoping it is just the start of getting people sleeping outside the help they need.
Each individual is given two bins they can keep at the storage unity up to 30 days, or 90 days if necessary. Perishable, stolen, wet or illegal items are not allowed. The unit is accessible for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening Monday through Friday. Each person must sign an agreement to keep their items in the unit.
Adams says they are hoping to expand the program by making a mobile storage unit or getting a unit in a more central location. He also hopes this leads to more help for the homeless community such as a mobile laundry or shower.