Safe Parking Update
The TUUC Subcommittee on Housing Insecurity continues to work on providing a safe and sanitary site for people who are living in their cars. It continues to be quite a journey. Let us catch you up:
- David Pettit, our amazingly skilled and recently retired site host, has done an amazing job creating a welcoming site with help from the team. We so appreciate the hours that David spent on site not only doing construction and maintenance but also waiting to check in guests who decided not to come. We have learned that those who are struggling with housing insecurity are also struggling with trust and it may take several tries before a guest will join us. We wish David the best!
- Good news: Cat Garretson-Bilnoski volunteered to be our new site host! Cat has been part of the team since the beginning and is very knowledgeable about housing insecurity and has excellent rapport with our guests.
- Really good news: We now have three cars parking in the lot.
- Even more good news: Our neighbors are very supportive of what we are doing. Several have mentioned that this is a good thing!
- We recently were able to manage a very challenging situation that was a health and security issue for our neighbors, our building and our guests. It took enormous teamwork, including support from Colin DeForrest, Tacoma/Pierce County Safe Parking Pilot Program manager; Jeffrey Boyce, Episcopal Diocese Missioner to the Homeless; The Tacoma Police Department Homeless Outreach Team; and Comprehensive Life Resources. Additionally, Sabbatical Minister Rev. Joe Rettenmaier and TUUC Board President Sheila Whybrow wrote a convincing letter to Council Member Catherine Ushka and we had tremendous cooperation from and communication with our neighbors. Church Administrator Libby Ball also provided valuable input.
- We hope to provide informational gatherings about housing insecurity for congregants. Watch for information about these programs (in person and via Zoom) in the ENews
- We need more volunteers willing to partner with site host Cat Garretson-Bilnoski to visit the site. We like to have two people for each visit: Cat and another volunteer. Training is available. Please contact us!
We are grateful to those who have given so much time, energy and heart to the TUUC Safe Parking program. It matters!
The TUUC Subcommittee on Housing Insecurity: Catherine Garretson-Bilnoski, Stacey Soltoff, Breck Lebegue, Dave and Cindy Hackett, Mary Berry and Administrator Libby Ball