About the Organisation
Street Storage is the first organisation of its kind, providing free, safe storage for people experiencing homelessness. We operate using empty buildings in London to provide a flexible service of long- and short-term storage, as well as transport and advocacy work. This allows people sleeping out to have the physical and mental relief of not having to carry all their belongings with them, which in turn opens up opportunities to gain and maintain employment, reconnect with family, engage with services, and secure permanent and suitable housing.
We are open Monday to Friday by appointment only (together with set drop-in times) and we store everything from photos and ID, to guitars and bikes for our clients. Clients can be referred through local authorities, national and local charities, day centres and grassroots organisations, refuges, soup kitchens or they can get in touch with us directly.
Street Storage currently have two storage spaces – c.650sq. ft in Camden and c.1500 sq. ft in Hackney. However, moving into one building with a larger space would be more practical for them and address staffing and other operational challenges. Their current spaces are rented from Hackney Council and are nearing capacity as demand for the charity’s services continues to increase significantly. Street Storage receive referrals from across the country as well as London, and the changing demographic of their clients means that often homeless people seeking their help have more belongings than was previously the case. They are currently receiving an average of seven referrals of post-eviction storage (i.e. large amounts) every day.
To meet demand, Street Storage are hoping to find another space in London, preferably in South or West London, but they will consider anywhere central. A range of property types could potentially be suitable, and the charity is very open to occupying space on a meanwhile use basis whilst, for example, the site is awaiting planning permission or redevelopment. Such an arrangement would mitigate empty business rates whilst delivering significant social value.
The charity has three main practical requirements:
- They require access from Monday to Friday and a minimum notice period of 3 months
- Ideal location Central London, (ground floor) but would be open to other areas
- Ideal size: 10,000sqm (incorporate an office) but a minimum of 6,000sqm-8,000sqm is ok
The space offered does not need to be habitable and can be alarmed and insured by Street Storage.
Street Storage has some access to some funds, thanks to a corporate sponsor and their other ongoing fundraising efforts. However, they do not have enough to pay commercial rents for the space they need (they have budgeted £100,000 – £150,000 per year). They would therefore be very grateful for pro bono support to identify free or a discounted space.
Street Storage is a very well managed service it does not allow any unaccompanied access to their storage spaces, sites are always staffed, and people are only able to access their belongings via pre-agreed appointment or at set drop-in times.
The charity currently has a 3-year commitment, with a 6-month clause. They are keen to move and would therefore like to secure a new space and give notice at their current premises ASAP.