This is a new Damiano Center program and is in conjunction with the Stepping On Up Plan.
Safe Storage will be housed in HDC’s Harmony Center office at the Damiano (206 W 4 th St) and will be run by Damiano staff. Other agencies may provide help with the program staffing as well.
It is designed to provide secure, low barrier storage for people who are experiencing housing insecurity in order to ensure that their most valuable items are secure and safe because they have nowhere else to do so. This program will allow people to retain important documents, family heirlooms, and other important items that are not safe to be carried when camping or staying in unsafe locations. This program is designed to continue to provide dignity and respect to all of our citizens.
Everyone deserves the right to have a place to store their most precious belongings. It is about human dignity regardless of someone’s living situation. Everyone needs a safe place to leave their items so they can go to appointments, work, or just sleep soundly.
Seven agencies have worked closely to design a way to start this program within the Damiano Center. All items are stored in a secure space on the Damiano third floor that is always on camera and locked. Guests will be able to drop off and retrieve their items four days a week. The intent is to allow people to know that their most precious items are secure so that they do not have to stress about them. Often when people don’t have a safe place to store their belongings they are forced to carry those belongings with them out of necessity. This quickly identifies them as someone who is experiencing housing insecurity, even if they do not wish to be identified that way. By being able to store those items, people will be able to walk down the street, go to work, interview for jobs, and go to appointments without a first impression and assumptions that come with carrying all of their possessions. This is human dignity.
This fits well with the eight other Damiano programs including Hygiene Unit, Free Store, Community Services, Clothes That Work, and the Community Kitchen. It also ties in nicely with the other agencies also in the Damiano including Safe Bay, Harm Reduction Sisters, Harmony Center, and Recovery Alliance Duluth.