Storage Units as Homes?
Updated: Nov 15
In Milford, Massachusetts, homelessness is an unfortunate struggle for many. It was discovered earlier this year that several storage facilities throughout the city have people living inside their storage units. Inhabiting a storage unit is against in law. In August, a 54-year-old man was murdered at one of the storage facilities in downtown Milford, which brought this issue more into light. Advisories have been issued by the Board of Health to several storage facilities with fines punishable of up to $500 for each offense. Milford’s Salvation Army Captain, Kevin Polito, told Boston 25 News: “Because people don’t see the evidence as much as you would in a bigger urban environment, they just think it doesn’t exist. Homelessness is absolutely an issue here in Milford and the surrounding communities. We need to do a better job getting the word out about what options are available for these people.”
Living in a storage unit is illegal mostly because of safety concerns to the occupant. If tenants smoke or cook inside a unit, a fire can easily be started, trapping people inside and potentially destroying many people’s possessions. It is also unsanitary and not very safe for habitation. There is no running water or restroom facilities, and often the doors do not operate from the inside of units. For Milford’s homeless population, there are emergency shelter options for days with extreme temperatures and other organizations offer assistance and shelter as well. The goal is to inform the homeless population of their other options so they’re not forced to try and live in an unsafe and uncomfortable space illegally.
Storage facilities can do many things to deter people from loitering too long at a facility. Twenty-four-hour security cameras are one safety feature must have for a reputable facility. Secure entries are also important, such as gates with key pin access codes to make it convenient for paying renters to enter but not for anyone else. Having consistent staff members on site to manage and monitor the property is also very useful to keeping units safe. When shopping for a storage facility, check for all these features before signing any sort of agreement. Your belongings deserve to be placed in the safest facility available.
People living in storage facilities is not a common occurrence, and that’s why these stories get put in the news. It’s heartbreaking to read about, and hopefully the homeless population in Milford will be able to take advantage of other safer options for shelter and resources around their city. But issues do happen, and we share stories like these to inform the public so that you’re aware of what’s going on around the country before committing to sending your prized possessions off site. At Oquirrh View Storage, securing your belongings is our top priority. We strive to have the safest and most secure facility in the state, with numerous solutions for keeping the contents inside our facility protected. Don’t trust your possessions to a facility without top-of-the-line safety measures.