This is one of a series of stories we are sharing to show what's inside CubeSmart. You not only get a peek inside our customer's storage unit, but also a peek inside what is important to them. Thank you to Robert, customer of our CubeSmart store in Hoboken, for sharing his story with us.
Robert Goodwin was born in Hoboken, grew up in Hoboken, works in Hoboken, and now stores his belongings in the CubeSmart on Grand Street in Hoboken. But the city he used to know has changed dramatically during his five decades.
"They're building everywhere, raising the rents. All the businesses, jobs, stores have changed. There are people from different nationalities. When I was growing up you could live here but now the high rents are throwing the poor people out. Where are they supposed to go?"
Like many people he knows, he's been priced out of the city. When his parents passed, he was left homeless, and he now stays with a friend he met at his job sweeping streets.
"I cook for myself and clean for myself, but I pay him rent and we watch TV together. It keeps me out of shelters," he says.
Most of his family has moved out of Hoboken, except for his sister and her children. His own two children are now grown; his son works in building maintenance and his daughter is in college. He sees his family when he can.
"Mostly I work on taking care of myself and staying out of trouble."
For the last three years, he's kept his unit at CubeSmart, which he says is important for his quality of life.
"I don't have to drag my stuff around in luggage all day, and I don't have to worry about losing it or someone stealing it," he says. "I have to go to work every day, and I can't take it with me. I am happy to pay for this unit to have this nice place for my things."
Robert used to work as a janitor. His current full-time job, which he's held for 16 years, includes medical and dental benefits as well as a pension. Robert is hoping to work for another ten years and then take his retirement money and move to a more affordable locale, like Philadelphia, where his aunt lives, or possibly somewhere in Virginia.
"I'm just focused on moving forward. It's going to take time but I will do what I have to do to get there."