Can I Keep My Possessions Safe?
Some shelters offer lockers or limited storage space for personal belongings while you are staying there. There are rules about what can be left in the shelters during the day and some shelters “toss” items that are left out or still there if you no longer stay there. Check with staff and other residents so you don’t lose your things. Women who go to Rosie’s Place or On the Rise may be able to get some storage there if they have no other options.
There are some storage companies that offer small storage spaces. Here is a short list, but you can check yellow pages for others. Some of the U-Haul lockers are upper level and you need to push a moving stair to access them. Private storage is expensive. Be sure you can budget the monthly fees.
844 Main St., Cambridge (Central Sq.)
4x4x4 foot lockers. You need to purchase a special padlock. These lockers cost about $50/monthly. 4x4x6 foot costs $80/monthly.
985 Mass. Ave., Boston
Same as U-Haul in Cambridge.
134 Mass Ave., Cambridge
Larger space, 5x7x10 costs $80/monthly.
How Can I Keep Myself Looking Good?
Day Programs such as Heading Home, Women’s Lunch, St. Francis House, Bread and Jams, and On the Rise all have clothing programs. Ask at the day program. The American Friends’ Service committee, CASPAR’s Gear Program, Solutions Wear, all provide clothing but you need a referral and appointment. Ask your housing advocate, case manager or staff at shelters and drop-ins to help you with a referral. Some of the evening meals also have clothing available. Some of the shelters and day drop-ins have small toiletries and soaps that are given out for free.
You can shower and do laundry at On The Rise (if you are a client) or at Women’s Lunch Place or Salvation Army in Cambridge. The shelters have showers and most have laundry although there are restrictions about what day you can do laundry.
“What we have isn’t much, but it makes a big difference. If they would stop tossing our stuff it would make us feel more secure.”
“It's a terrible feeling to have your things thrown out.”
“Others can be judgmental.”
“If you are carrying your possessions you are automatically stigmatized.”
“Having a shower everyday means everything.”
“How you dress and look matters, you are treated according to what you are wearing.”