To the unhoused person without a motor vehicle a bicycle is an essential part of being able to travel. Many times public transportation is often spotty in the evenings and on weekends, so a bicycle is invaluable.
Everyone should invest in a good lock to protect their bicycle. If you cannot afford one, see if your church would buy one for you. If you have a social worker, ask them.
Not only is a good lock important, but how that lock is applied is central to protecting your vehicle. A very good lock
As you can see in the photo above, there is a great lock securing just a front tire to the bike rack. The rest of the bicycle is long gone. A thief with an adjustable wrench in their pocket just loosened the nuts for the front tire and walked (or drove) away with the rest of the bicycle.
Take a look at the image below to see how to secure your bicycle. No matter what type of lock you use, the hasp or cable should go through the frame, front tire and the bicycle stand. a longer or even a second cable/lock should secure the rear tire to the frame.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has some good locking techniques. We have shown these below, but go to their site and watch their short but informative 2-minute video on locking your bicycle. Click on the images below for a large view.