Storage and the Homeless Go Hand in Hand in Portland’s New Plans

Mia Iverson | Oct 28, 2010 @ 11:44 AM

The homeless find relief in self storage, and not in the way that you might think.

A storage facility is opening in Portland specifically to store the homeless’ belongings. In Portland, and probably every major city across the nation, you can usually find a homeless individual pushing their cart of belongings.

A homeless woman in Portland known as "Mama Cat" told the Portland Tribune's Peter Korn that keeping track of her possessions is a never-ending challenge.

“Even homeless people have appointments, including job and housing interviews, Mama Cat said. Last time Mama Cat had an appointment at the Social Security office, she had to leave her cart with a friend who promised to watch it. When she returned, the cart and its contents were gone.”

The Old Town area facility will the be solution the homeless in Portland have been looking for.

“When the Old Town Resource Access Center opens next spring or summer, the $47 million facility for the homeless will include a storage facility as well as a shelter and day center. Until then, the soon-to-open facility on Burnside is intended to provide storage relief,” Korn writes.

There has been confusion and controversy surrounding the fact that government money is being spent on such a project, but the city of Portland plans to follow through.

Many homeless interviewed for this story had a positive response towards the storage facility and look forward to using it. We’ll only see if this facility is a success and becomes a trend spreading from west to east across America.

What is your opinion? Do you think there should be such a government-funded facility for the homeless?