Secure, outdoor storage lockers accessible 24 hours a day
Mail slots: an address for the homeless to receive mail.
Solar panels: for charging small portable electronics.
Steel construction: to ensure that these lockers survive many years of use.
Anti vandalism paint: keeping these lockers looking good for years to come.
Motion sensor security cameras: for added safety.
24/7 hours access: no limitations to assess.
Storage shelf: for small items.
Lanyards: for keys and small items.
Many organizations and individuals have helped to make this project a reality. Spirit Alive Outreach Ministry would like to thank the following for their support and contributions:
- PK Welding and Fabricators for going above and beyond in the design and construction of the lockers and for their financial contribution
- Dailey Enterprises for donating expert consultation and assistance in preparing the site and coordinating installation
- OPUC for generously donating equipment and manpower for site preparation and installation
- John Henry, Mayor of the City of Oshawa, for catching the vision quickly
- Rick Kerr, Councillor for the City of Oshawa, for his enthusiasm and for facilitating many important connections
- Dirk Taylor and Jonathan Mash for website design, development, hosting, and support
- PI Tool Ltd. for donating use of a truck for transportation
- Region of Durham Police, Business Improvement Association, Chamber of Commerce for enthusiasm and support
- Simcoe St. United Church for allowing the lockers to be placed on their property
- MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, the community who will use the lockers for suggestions, encouragement, and the assurance that this project was worth doing
Spirit Alive Outreach Ministry would like to remember Don MacLeod. Don was the President of Back Door Mission for the Relief of Poverty and, when presented with the idea, quickly began working tirelessly to ensure that this project would happen. Unfortunately, Don passed away before the Keepers Project was completed. We firmly believe that the individuals who will be helped by the KeepersProject will be a lasting legacy to Don.
A pilot project consisting of 12 lockers has been installed in downtown Oshawa. We are actively looking to install lockers in other sites in Oshawa and elsewhere. If you would like to be part of the next exciting adventure in helping the marginalized please donate!
NEED: Members of Spirit Alive have recognized for a number of years that a real need of homeless individuals is a safe place to store their personal belongings. Carrying all one’s personal belongings everywhere is not only cumbersome, it stigmatizes the individual by identifying him/her as homeless. This can limit one’s ability to attend appointments, seek work, and find accommodations. Stashing or hiding those belongings, on the other hand, often leads to theft and further vulnerability since one’s appearance and ability to provide identification and other documents, are essential to seeking assistance.
PLANNING: Board members have done a great deal of brainstorming and research into this problem and potential solutions. This included a visit to an area in Portugal where a successful locker project for the homeless has been established. After much consultation with elected city officials, interested downtown Oshawa residents and business organizations (Chamber of Commerce, BIA), community police, and, most importantly, members of the homeless population of Oshawa, it was determined that a pilot project should take place in downtown Oshawa.
ACTION: A set of twelve outdoor lockers has been installed in downtown Oshawa. Each locker includes a mail slot and a USB connection for cell phone charging. Spirit Alive is partnering with Back Door Mission for the Relief of Poverty (a local, downtown-based service agency) to administer the first set of lockers as a pilot project. Consistent connections with staff and volunteers at Back Door Mission will potentially lead to solutions to other issues. It is believed that having a permanent, secure place for belongings will be an important stepping stone to a better life.
FUTURE: After this pilot project has proved successful, and any adjustments deemed necessary have been made, it is anticipated that there will be additional locker sites in Oshawa. As well, Spirit Alive hopes to be a resource for other communities who feel that lockers could help in their work of assisting individuals to end homelessness.
If you would like to see this initiative brought to your area we would love to help! Please contact us.