CGS will be hosting the Safe Car Park program throughout the month of June in our parking lot. Due to COVID-19, we will be taking extra precautions, and offering more limited services to our guests than we otherwise would. We now have a more detailed sign up available at the links below to volunteer or donate food/toiletry items. Thank you to those who have already expressed interest in helping!!
CLICK HERE FOR VOLUNTEER SIGN UP
We need volunteers (1) checking in on/swinging by the parking lot twice per day (maintaining social distance), and (2) providing and delivering breakfast or dinner.
Checking in on the site is to make sure everything appears safe, and there are no emergencies - you can do this from a distance as you walk or drive past. If you feel comfortable, we welcome you to chat with guests, find out how they are doing, and make them feel welcome.
Providing meals could include preparing the meal (Click HERE for information from Santa Clara County on safe food handling), getting take-out, ordering delivery, etc. We do not need to provide breakfast/dinner every day, just on days when people are available
CLICK HERE FOR DONATIONS SIGN UP
We are collecting non-perishable food items, beverages, and toiletries to distribute to guests.
You may bring your items to church (place in designated area in the Narthex), or you can request that one of us pick up the items from outside your home. Please indicate in the "comment" field on the sign up sheet whether you will bring the items to church, or if you would like someone to pick them up.
Please reach out to Rachel Visscher (email@example.com), Kevin Visscher (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Sarah Janigian (email@example.com) with any questions, or if you would like assistance signing up.
by Sarah Janigian
CGS will host the Safe Car Park program during the month of June. The Silicon Valley Safe Carpark network, of which we are a part of, needed to find a host group for that month. Our team decided that we could be ready to go.
The program has continued to operate during the COVID-19 restrictions with limitations. The faith communities who have hosted since the shelter-in-place order provide space for parking, make arrangements for bathroom facilities, and have very limited contact with the guests. There is no extra hospitality provided such as community meals, rooms available for gathering, etc.
We don’t know what will be happening in June regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. We do know that these unhoused guests will continue to need a place to stay, and hopefully many will be back to work. We have the space and means to help without jeopardizing the health and safety of our members and community.
Volunteers will be needed to help with the daily check-in/check-out process, and provide some packaged food and toiletries that will be left for the guests’ use. If you are able to help, please go to the sign-up form online, found here.
Our church community has always been welcoming, and opened our doors to those who need us. Our participation in the Silicon Valley Safe Carpark network is another example of our commitment to serving the community, and remembering that we are all children of God.
Please let us know if you can help.
Sarah Janigian firstname.lastname@example.org
Chelsea Byom email@example.com
Kevin Visscher firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Visscher email@example.com
Pastor Manda firstname.lastname@example.org
by Sarah Janigian
Our congregation is participating in Silicon Valley Safe Parking (SVSP), providing people who are living in their cars a safe place to sleep at night. More than one year ago the church council approved CGS’s involvement. Pastor Manda and a group of members have been attending meetings and working with faith communities in the West Valley/Saratoga area who have successfully been sponsoring safe and legal parking areas for homeless guests to sleep in their cars overnight. (Check out the Christian Century – January 15, 2020 issue. The Rotating Safe Car Park program in West Valley /Saratoga area was a feature article.)
Silicon Valley Safe Parking is a partnership of nine faith communities and Bellarmine College Prep, with locations in the central San Jose area. All have agreed to host for one month, up to two times per year. As a host site, we provide a safe parking space, bathrooms and trash/recycling for the guests. Host sites are then able to choose additional hospitality: phone charging stations, hospitality room, snacks, meals, etc.
Silicon Valley Safe Parking will work with Amigos de Guadalupe – Center for Justice and Empowerment to screen the applicants for the program and provide us with our guests. SVSP has also determined a set of criteria that our guests must adhere to. All guests must have a valid driver’s license and a working vehicle that is registered and insured. SVCP has other criteria for hosting guests, including no drugs or alcohol, no smoking in cars, and no open flames or cooking in the parking lot. We will also be registered with the City of San Jose, and Police and Fire Departments will be notified. All those agencies have been very supportive of the Safe Car Park program.
It will take our village to make this work. CGS’s month for hosting is October, 2020. Volunteers will be needed throughout the entire month. Daily shifts, 7:00 am – 8:00 am in the morning and 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm in the evening, will need to be staffed. As part of the program, we will host a weekly meal and provide snacks as needed.
An informational meeting will be held on Sunday, February 23rd, after church, in the Fireside Room. A light lunch will be provided.
For more information and to volunteer, contact Sarah Janigian, Chelsea Byom, Rachel Visscher, or Kevin Visscher. You can find their contact information in Breeze or by calling the church office.