Used with permission

 

I need a shed.

Every week, someone calls me or reaches out offering to donate their gently used pet stuff – beds, bowls, carriers, crates, litter pans, sheets, etc. And these items are in great demand by cat colony caretakers, rescue groups, and more. It is a fantastic example of a community connecting the dots  – reduce/reuse/recycle/repurpose with the welfare of homeless domestic animals and urban wildlife.

The challenge is storage. Finding a place to put the stuff from the donation to the distribution handoff. Very few people have storage. Very few organizations have storage. This has held true since my days working with human service agencies that had to pay for each square foot of space. Spacious storage closets were not always a good investment of limited resources.

My solution now is to keep things in the car, the basement, the hidden corners of the living room, or on the backporch. My wife doesn’t love this and neither do I. Right now, I have a bed and some dog items in the backseat of our shared car, three litter pans and two dog travel carriers in the backyard, and food everywhere. But I struggle to resist when someone on the local ‘Buy Not a Thing’ group has a thing that will help cats and the people who take care of them.

There is a plan for a long-term solution  involving a partnership with my friend Ed who owns the land where the Fort Faulsey Colony is stored and the URA which can lease us the use of a skinny parcel that is literally doing nothing right now. Stay tuned for that.

In the short-term, my wife has finally agreed that I can put a shed in our backyard to hold my stuff. It is like a she-shed minus the Wayfair vibe.

We have a nice sized backyard for an urban home, a fenced in backyard with a parking pad, and no real reason for this to not work. I can unload things into the shed from the parking pad. Caretakers who pick things up from me can easily access the shed while maintaining a healthy social distance. Items will remain dry and organized. We can lock the shed of course much like we lock the gate. It is a win/win.

The challenge now is to find a shed. And erect it.

We need either a 10×10 or 12×12 shed for this to be effective. We need a base or foundation (or floor) to protect the contents. It can be metal, wood, resin, or Rubbermaid.  We can be creative on the size and layout, but we need to be able to install shelves to store items and keep them relatively clean.

It can also be used. If someone is upgrading their shed situation or having one removed, here’s a good option. Donate it through Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities to help cats and cat caretakers. Do you know a company or business changing their shed storage solutions? Ask them to donate. If it is in good condition, we can paint it.

This will not be something I can navigate quickly – gotta find a truck, someone to tear it down, and move into my yard. Then lay a foundation that’s appropriate and erect the shed.

Please help us with this need. Do you know someone who has floor models of sheds? Think outside of the box. Did someone sell a house or buy a house and want to get rid of a shed? Did someone get tired of their man cave/she shed and need that yard space for something else?