Sustaining “A Place for Your Stuff”

homeless_bins100 additional storage bins from Sustainability Department give people experiencing homelessness more storage for personal belongings

The Salt Lake City Department of Sustainability stepped up this week to provide 100 more bins for “A Place for Your Stuff”—a highly successful program that gives people experiencing homelessness a place to safely store their possessions during the day.

A Place for Your Stuff is sponsored by the city’s Transitional Storage program. Modeled after similar programs in San Diego and Los Angeles, the program allows the homeless a place to store their possessions as they seek other services.

“It’s truly benefiting people’s lives,” said Dillon Hase, Homeless Services Technician for the program. “It removes stress so the individuals can focus on finding work and brings about a sense of stability.”

Located on 502 West and 300 South the Transitional Storage Program houses more than 450 refurbished garbage bins with about 370 currently in use. Individuals are assigned a bin for their personal belongings by signing a sponsorship form, which includes a list of other homeless assistance services. For added security, individuals attach their own photograph to the bin.

People are free to check in and out during the day as needed to grab an item, add or take clothes away, etc. Dillon and his team members retrieve the bins and the individuals are allotted privacy as they sort through their bins. Long-term storage is available, but individuals must check in weekly to keep their bin.

“People have told me that this is life changing” Dillon said. “By word of mouth this program is expanding rapidly.”

For those temporarily experiencing homelessness, a place to store belongings can be transformative. As a safe place to keep sensitive documents, clothing, and other personal items, the bins are a great encouragement for the homeless to focus on job interviews, medical care, and housing appointments.

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