LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Imagine not having a safe place to keep your personal items and worrying about them being stolen. For those who are homeless, it’s a reality.

Richard Canard of Lancaster learned about the struggles of the homeless in his previous job as a Patient Care Navigator at Care Connections, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.

“What I identified at that time was that many of my homeless patients were having their personal belongings, belongings stolen, their medications stolen,” Canard said.  

Seven years ago, Canard came up with the idea, “Lockers for the Homeless,” to provide a safe place for people to store their belonging because right now you see them behind bushes and dumpsters.

“When they’re sleeping at night on the pavement, they would wake up in the morning and their stuffed backpack would be gone,” Canard said.

The lockers would also provide freedom. Those who are homeless have to bring everything they own with them everywhere they go.

“I think the important part is giving them freedom of movement and not being identified as someone that’s homeless. You know, that they can decide to walk into a coffee shop and get coffee and not have the stigma of everybody looking at them, knowing that they’re homeless,” Canard said.

Anchor Lancaster case worker Conner Doyle says, “it’s hard for them to carry those things around all day. You know, some of them have medical needs, like bad knees, bad back. So it can be difficult for them to carry those things around with them.”

Canard says each person will have a locker assignment and it will need to be renewed every so often, along with some restrictions in place.

“Some of the criteria that we will have for having the lockers is, you know, no perishable foods, no drugs or alcohol stored,” Canard said.

Canard is currently looking for monetary donations to help make this new initiative become a reality and asking business owners, community organizers or places of worship to put lockers on their property.

Canard says, a three single-tiered locker costs $2,190.

The goal is to have 100 lockers around Lancaster with the first lockers hopefully going up by the end of summer.

If you want to get involved or want to know more about “Lockers for the Homeless” you can reach out to Richard Canard at 717-341-0039 or