Offering Sanctuary in the City: Safe Parking Proposal

Our Mission is:

We are called

To offer sanctuary in the city

To grow in God’s love

To seek the renewal of the world.

Safe Parking at St. Andrew’s:

A Proposal

Over the past ten years and more, St. Andrew’s has dedicated prayer, time, and energy to the process of discerning a way to act for and with our homeless neighbors. Most of our efforts have been devoted to the attempt to give concrete expression to our mission – offering sanctuary in the city, growing in God’s love, seeking the renewal of the world – by developing a residence on the land we currently use for parking. These efforts have borne fruit in much learning and many relationships with people and agencies who share our vision. But they have not led, so far, to a building.

Where do we go from here?

As we look for the way forward, a number of parish leaders have proposed a temporary project that would allow us to offer real and much needed help through the Colorado Safe Parking Initiative (CSPI). CSPI is working to create a statewide networking of safe, legal, overnight parking locations for individuals sheltering in their cars.

The proposal is to dedicate 21 spaces (2 rows) of the Caledonian parking lot to this initiative for a six month period. The dedicated area would be fenced, would include a portable toilet accessible only to participants in the program, and would have space for up to eight cars, with one or two adults in each car. A third party service provider would select the participants and offer ongoing support.

 PROGRAM OVERVIEW

CSPI is a grassroots, all-volunteer nonprofit organization working to create a statewide network of safe, legal parking locations for individuals and families sheltering in vehicles because they are experiencing homelessness.  Hundreds of individuals and families are estimated to be sheltering in vehicles in the seven-county Denver metro area, and there are nearly a thousand statewide. The number of people experiencing homelessness is expected to increase dramatically because of the current financial crisis.  CSPI’s work includes developing a scalable service model for Colorado, identifying service providers and site hosts, providing information and training about safe parking, evaluating effectiveness of safe parking programs, and addressing legal barriers to safe parking. Current sites are in Broomfield, Golden and Longmont, Colorado. CSPI is working to establish sites in Jefferson County, Adams County, and Denver, and to expand sites in Boulder, Weld and Broomfield counties. Recently, an 8-participant space has been approved by the City of Denver at the First Universalist Church at the corner of Hampden and Colorado.

The Vestry is supportive of participating in the CSPI program by utilizing the north half of the parking lots at 2071 Glenarm; a total of 21 spaces or half of the existing Caledonian spaces available would be made available for up to 8 cars.  Program details:

  • six (6) month
  • A third-party service provider to vet the participants and provide support to move them back into a sheltered living situation. Current discussions are underway with St. Francis Center and Volunteers of America.
  • 2 designated parking spaces per vehicle that are accessed/available to the participants
  • Hours of operation 6PM and 8AM each night.
  • Maximum 8 vehicles, with not more than 2 adults per vehicle.
  • No trailers recreational vehicles, or campers will be allowed.
  • Participants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Participants keep their belongings inside the confines of their vehicle at all times.
  • Site will be fenced and locked for controlled access.
  • Site will have an ADA Portable toilet and hand sanitizing station.
  • Security is provided.
  • Trash receptacle will be provided for the participants and emptied regularly.
  • A Good Neighbor Agreement will be negotiated, yet is not required for City temporary permit.

Please take the opportunity to review the video at What Is Safe Parking: https://youtu.be/oAu7IYbueZo

Additional information may also be found at:  https://www.colosafeparking.org/

PRELIMINARY BUDGET – SAFE PARKING PROGRAM

Security:

  • 3 drives by w/walk around per night (10 hr. shift): $1540 (mo.) – $9240 (6 mos.)

Fencing/Portable toilet – hand washing station:

  • City has been covering the costs of fencing/toilets/handwashing for the Safe Outdoor Space sites
  • We expect this would be the same for Safe Parking Program
  • In the event City does not provide:
    • Portable toilet/hand washing: $250 (mo) – $1500 (6 mos)
    • Fencing: $700 (mo) – $4200 (6 mos)

Estimated costs for project duration:                                 $15,000*

MINIMUM VOLUNTEER HOURS

Nightly Greeter – max 2 hrs to oversee check-in of participants

Nightly emergency phone contact – 11 hrs- this is not onsite, rather a designated person that the participants or neighbors can call if there are any issues.

Additional volunteer opportunities will be offered once the program is operational and the needs of the participants are discerned.

* Foundations and other potential donors to offset some and possibly all these expenses will be contacted once the Parish gives its approval. Caledonian funds would be utilized to meet any shortfall.