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In the Californian town of Venice Beach, homeless residents have an alternative to carry their belongings with them, with an innovative bag storage solution.
Using a metal shipping container with volunteers to run it, Check-in Storage means that local rough sleepers can deposit there bags so that they don’t need to carry them around or risk them being stolen.
“It makes us feel a lot better to store our things here,” Nani Valencia told the Los Angeles Times. “When you have all your [suitcases] with you, people treat you like you have rabies.”
Following a court ruling in September, that stated that the seizure and destruction of property left temporary on the pavements was unconstitutional, the city had to come up with solution to prevent a large amount of bags being left in the area.
“We’re not going to let [homeless people] keep items on the beach anymore,” Los Angeles council member Bill Rosendahl said. “We’re going to bag and tag [them]. We want to make it inconvenient but within the law.”
The Check-in Storage solution, a joint venture of the council and a local housing group, was particularly felt in the colder weather with a local shelter limiting what bags people could bring inside.
Reluctance to leave their kits unattended meant many didn’t use the winter shelter. The solution allows individuals to store their belongings in the container for up to a week.