Safe Parking is an integral part of Tacoma’s effort to provide a safe and sanitary option for every unhomed person in the city. It is cost effective and an essential intervention for those living in their vehicles. TUUC is one of two safe parking sites in Tacoma. There is another in Pierce County. All three safe parking sites are hosted by faith-based organizations.
You, the congregation, voted almost unanimously to support TUUC’s participation in the Tacoma/Pierce County Safe Parking Pilot Program. With funding from a private grant facilitated by the Metropolitan Development Council (MDC), a small team of committed TUUC volunteers has prepared the site for guests, welcomed guests and maintained the site. And according to coordinator Colin DeForrest, our site alone has been responsible for 3 people moving into more stable housing, the goal of the program. If that doesn’t sound significant, spend a night or two sleeping in your car without access to sanitation and concerned about being rousted at 2:00 a.m. and asked to move.
TUUC Site Volunteers spend about 30 minutes daily, in teams of two, picking up trash on the site, checking the porta potty to make sure it is clean, checking the handwashing station, resupplying it with fresh water and disposing of greywater when needed, and resupplying hand soap and paper products when needed. Training and gratitude is provided!
The TUUC Social Justice Committee Subcommittee on Housing Insecurity needs more boots on the ground – more congregants to walk the talk – for those 30-45 minute visits. With a few more people, our current volunteers can work 1 or 2 shifts a week instead of 4. If you can’t do a weekly 30 minute commitment, think about being a substitute who can help when a regular volunteer goes camping for a week.
We look forward to hearing from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
With deep gratitude to those currently volunteering and those considering commitment,
Cat Garretson Bilnoski, Site Host
Cindy Hackett, Volunteer Coordinator