More than lockers: Chicago's plan to promote health, safety, and connection through storage

Thursday, June 2, 2016: 1:00 PM-2:00 PM
Broadway I (Hilton Portland)
For young people experiencing homelessness and housing instability, access to safe and secure storage options for personal belongings--such as clothing, medications, keepsakes, and legal documents--is a daily, often hourly, stressor. In the absence of stable housing, these possessions--including those necessary for housing, employment, and educational opportunities--are in constant danger of being lost, stolen, discarded, or damaged. The traumas of homelessness are exacerbated by the lack of safe, secure, and accessible storage options. Youth suffering from the loss of personal belongings find themselves that much further delayed in obtaining and securing resources. Youth experiencing homelessness have identified solving the storage program as one of the most important ways to alleviate their day-to-day stress, improve the immediate quality of life for individuals in unpredictable and temporary living situations, and support the short-and long-term goal setting towards stable housing. The Chicago Youth Storage Initiative seeks to create an integrated and comprehensive storage system for more than 2,000 young Chicagoans experiencing homelessness. This think tank will explore solutions for a range of experiences and needs; findings and recommendations from our youth-led participatory research process (released in May 2015); and tools, handbooks, and guides that may be used to implement, maintain, and evaluate storage programs for adaptation in your own communities.
Lara Brooks (Director, Chicago Youth Storage Initiative)
Ka'Riel Gaiter (Community Engagement Coordinator, Chicago Youth Storage Initiative)
See more of: Think Tank