Safe Parking News Update for March 18, 2021

Hooray! We have wonderful news! The Tacoma/Pierce County Safe Parking Network (SPN) has approved TUUC’s application for participation in the Safe Parking Pilot Program. The SPN has also approved our request for grant funding that will cover our expenses at least through the end of April.

The SPN has voiced appreciation for the focused work and productivity of the Ad Hoc Committee on Building and Grounds Security who built the foundation for participation, and is pleased by the work of the Social Justice Committee Subcommittee on Housing
Insecurity that is building the structure of the program on that foundation. Finally, give yourselves a huge round of applause because TUUC participation would not be possible without the committed work of a determined group of volunteers and your – the
congregation’s – almost unanimous support at the recent Special Congregational Meeting. We think the words of TUUC member and activist Laura Gardner summarized the vote to act, despite not being able to predict every outcome: “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.”

So where are we? The Subcommittee, meeting weekly, has:

  • Identified David Pettit as Site Host, with support by several volunteers;
  • Identified Breck Lebegue as Volunteer Coordinator;
  • Identified a team of volunteers who have attended Homelessness 101 training (facilitated by New Connections leaders Theresa Power-Drutis and Rosemary Powers) and will be attending more in-depth training lead by Verna Lilly from the Trauma Resilience Team of the Pierce County Medical Reserve Corps. Participants: Breck Lebegue, Stacey Soltoff, Mary Berry, Laura Gardner, Pam Jenkins, Dave Hackett and Cindy Hackett.
  • Made significant progress on preparing the parking lots for receiving the porta-potty, handwashing station and our guests. This involves leveling and removing the old wooden parking “bumpers” (thank you to Bob Hays and Patty McPhee for their help with this); mowing, moving concrete chunks, preparing plan for striping to identify parking spaces, and preparing a level and solid surface for the porta-potty. Still to come: striping and moving concrete bumpers into position.
  • Continued to create needed documentation including job descriptions.
  • Prepared a “reach out” to our direct neighbors and hope to deliver this weekend or early next week with a day and time identified for an information/Q&A session.

We understand and want to make sure to convey to the congregation that it may take a while for our first guest to arrive. We have identified the LGBTQ+ community as our guest focus group, but will welcome any guest who will commit to respecting the dignity of LGBTQ+ persons.

The Subcommittee’s goal is transparency and to that end, documents will be posted on the TUUC website. But please be patient as we figure out the best way to organize the information. We welcome questions and offers to help at And thank you again for the amazing support!

Members of the Subcommittee on Housing Insecurity: Catherine Garretson-Bilnoski, Breck Lebegue, David Pettit, Stacey Soltoff, Mary Berry, Dave Hackett and Cindy Hackett