By Jerry Clark
Greetings CGS’ers! At our March council meeting, we have agreed that CGS should be a Safe Car Park in the Willow Glen rotation. Chelsea Byom, Sarah Janigian, and Pastor Manda attended the meeting held here at CGS along with other faith organizations as part of the Winter Faith Collaborative; to discuss the existing need for a segment of the homeless population living in their cars or RVs.
This proposal is a way to make use of our parking lot for overnight parking in a more formalized process than we do now, which requires pre-screening and sign-in action. Those who would use our lot must first work with Amigos de Guadalupe as part of the screening process. As part of the program, we would need to provide restroom facilities (i.e. porta-potty) and garbage facilities to be maintained in accordance with the Safe Car Park program and aid in keeping our grounds safe and clean. The people who can be safe car park guests would be at the discretion of the congregation. CGS would set the days and hours of operation, when the lot would be available and for how long a duration, i.e. number of weeks, months or terminating our participation. We would need a point of contact or team of volunteers to help support any other services we might consider providing, such as morning coffee, snacks or possibly an evening warming hour.
Samuel Pinkston from Bellarmine College Preparatory gave a powerful presentation during the Winter Faith Collaborative meeting. He mentioned this is the second year Bellarmine has participated in the program. It has proven to be successful and without any incidents.
This would be a big step for CGS to make a positive impact on a big and growing homeless problem in our community with low financial impact to us. Let's put our available space to God’s good work, providing a little security and a welcoming place to stay for those that don't have one. If you feel called to be our primary coordinator or a part of our volunteer team, please contact a member of council (such as myself), Chelsea Byom, or Pastor Manda.
Christ the Good Shepherd
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