Shopping Carts – Homeless Wrongly Targeted

The City of Kamloops appears to be targeting the wrong people when it comes to theft of shopping carts.

Two nights ago (Sept 19) I came across dozens of shopping carts in front of the TRU Residence & Conference Centre.  

The carts come primarily from Superstore and Walmart and appear to be left there after being used by students to bring their groceries back to the Residence. 


The number of carts at just this one student location suggests the City has been picking on the wrong people when it comes to the ‘theft’ of shopping carts.  It’s easy to blame the homeless.  They can’t defend themselves and are an easy and visible target for misdirected and over zealous enforcement policies.”

Personally I feel this should be a learning moment for the City and suggest we move from this mistake to a more compassionate and helpful model when it comes to dealing with our homeless population.  

Why don’t we do as some other cities do and simply provide those in need with their own cart?

We could ask grocery stores to provide us with out-of-service carts, then look for volunteer organizations willing to restore these carts.  Make them more maneuverable by adding slightly larger wheels, paint them so everyone knows they haven’t been stolen, add a locking system and maybe add some form of personal ID for the owner.

We blamed the homeless for a problem which it now appears, they played a very minor role in.  Maybe it’s time the City apologized, showed some compassion and gave them legal ownership of their own personal cart.”

Photos by P Filisetti