DENVER, COLORADO — The city of Denver had to remove all the store lockers in the city since they didn’t serve their aim. In May 2017, the city allocated over $30,000 to install the lockers around the city. The lockers were provided to homeless people who could store their possessions there.
Nevertheless, soon the lockers turned to hangout places where people sold and bought drugs and narcotics, thus reducing the safety of the area. Besides, people stayed there day and night, using the lockers as a space to congregate and stay dry. There were some allegations that these lockers were promoting prostitution. However, there have not been any charges filed by the police with regards to these reports.
Sleeping in the lockers would be even dangerous due the lack of ventilation. Besides, folks who spent time there were always subject to vandalism and street aggression. Although they were maybe safer than sleeping out on the street, the lockers were not a safe place to say. And many thought they were being actively detrimental to the homeless population and the city’s mission.
Denver Lockers Generated a Lot of Controversy
Non-profit organizations and city activists started a new wave complaining that the lockers don’t serve their aim, and the program is working well. Besides, they put the environment and the safety of the nearby communities at risk. While the city’s intentions with the lockers were pure, they simply didn’t pan out well for the community writ large.
The project was a pilot that the city government used to test the idea. Nevertheless, the government warned the side effects and unforeseen consequences of the pilot. Now it had to cancel the project and take measures to solve the problem in an alternative way. Though we don’t know how the city plans to pivot, hopefully their new plan will meet a better fate than this one.