Lift the rollaway gates on some South Florida storage facilities, and a secret life emerges.
The men and women huddled inside are not just storing old photo albums and family heirlooms. They’re living among them.
With nowhere else to go, these homeless have found temporary shelter in the one place that feels like home: the rented unit holding the last of their possessions.
For the Young family and their pet dog, “home” was a 10-by-15-foot unit at Uncle Bob’s Self Storage in Hollywood. A county away, Marty Tortorella and his drifter friends hid out on cold nights in a Public Storage facility in Lake Worth.
Illegal and risky, the unorthodox living arrangement is both comforting and frightening — with time spent dodging night managers, sleeping among reminders of a lost life and praying the secret hideout stays secret. It rarely does.