The Campbell River and District Coalition to End Homelessness (CRDCEH) is looking for a community partner to help with a cart storage program on a six-month trial basis.
This spring, the Strathcona Regional District and City of Campbell River put forth a collaborative grant application with the CRDCEH to to the UBCM Strengthening Communities’ Services Grant to fund a number of different projects in the area. The grant was specifically for addressing homelessness in the community. The SRD was the financial host of the funding, and was awarded over $1 million for various programs designed to support unhoused folks and build up community services in the area.
Many of the programs included on the application are currently operating or are in development. However one of the programs was to provide storage for people’s belongings during the day.
“When people are living unsheltered, keeping their tents, sleeping bags, and other belongings dry and safe during the day is just another challenge of an already difficult life,” said CRDCEH coordinator, Stefanie Hendrickson. “Not only does this challenge affect the warmth, safety, and wellbeing of those who are unhoused, it also can cause areas of cities to become unsightly due to the use of shopping carts to store and transport gear throughout the day.”
Nunns Creek Park has been designated as the location for people to camp in Campbell River, however most of the services frequented by people living outside are located in the downtown area. Part of the agreement in Nunns Creek Park is that belongings must be taken out of the park by the morning, which leaves people having to carry around everything all day. This has led to more carts being visible in the downtown area. People who are unhoused have also spoken about the need for this service.
Renée LaBoucane, manager of strategic initiatives for the SRD said the project is for “basic, covered, secure, daytime cart storage so that people experiencing unsheltered homelessness have a place to keep their gear while they access appointments, services, and meals throughout the day.”
A working group has been set up to find a location for cart storage, but have not been able to find one yet. The ideal location would be in the greater downtown area and would be accessible for those who need it.
The working group is hoping to connect with property owners within the greater downtown area who may be willing to be a location host for this project on a six-month trial basis. Interested parties can connect with CRDCEH at firstname.lastname@example.org.