Help Us Bring Hope and Safety to Those Sleeping in their Vehicles
Faith communities desire to respond to the growing reality that individuals, couples and families from our local communities are sleeping in their vehicles as the only option for housing.
There are many reasons a person finds themselves sleeping in their vehicles. We strive to provide a safe place for anyone sleeping in their vehicle to be safe while they work to stabilize their lives. State and federal governments permit faith communities to use their property (including parking lots) and their resources to carry out their mission. In many cities, church parking lots are the only places for people to park and sleep legally.
SafePark supports congregations who open their parking lots who are offering hospitality to those sleeping in their cars. Our solution is simple, any church with a parking lot across America can become an authorized SafePark location for those who are working to stabilize their lives while sleeping in the cars.
The Solution is SafePark
- A family is referred to the SafePark system through a trusted partner using a secure online form.
- SafePark staff completes an intake and a background check is completed for everyone in the family over 18 years of age.
- We then notify the church of the potential new guest.
- A church volunteer is present at the first arrival to provide a parking permit.
- Guests then will arrive daily at the allotted time of the program for the specific. Most churches choose to open their lots at 5 pm and close at 8 am.
A Few SafePark Questions
We ask that there are at least pairs of volunteers at any given time. Some times this will not be possible due to schedule conflicts or the like.
Churches who have preschools can feel comfortable with program as guests arrive after the school ends and they leave the property before school starts. If they choose be on the property during the day, the church simply calls our phone number and we will come and speak with the guest. This is a violation of the Guest Agreement, therefore they will be at risk of losing their program privileges.
There are costs associated with the program. Costs such as portable toilets, gas cards, administrative costs, etc. We will not turn anyone away if they want to help and cannot help cover the expenses. We do welcome financial partnership as well.
Volunteers are asked to serve on an on-call basis and mostly serve then there are new guests to check-in and to drop by the site on a few times per week to check on guests and make sure they are staying safe.
This program should fit under current liability coverages that your church has. We have never seen a case where a church had to increase their own liability insurance. The program has a million dollar liability coverage, should that be required. Each guest and volunteer will also sign a waiver to be on the property.
Every guest works with us to build an Action Plan. As long as guests are working their Action Plan, they are welcome to stay in the program. This includes abiding by the Guest Agreement. Remember this a transitionary program designed to help guests transition to stable housing.
This program should have a very light impact on current staff and church programming. The program is self-sufficient with the volunteer structure. The highest impact will be in the evening, the program could be running during evening events. So depending on parking lot structure, you could be affected. Our hope is that the program would have a minimal impact on the church.
Benefits of Partnership
- Heightened awareness of homelessness
- Goodwill in the community
- Provide congregation opportunity for service and outreach
- Engaging with the Great Commandment
- Build and strengthen community relations
Ways to Help
- Expanding the vision of caring for the community
- Create connections between faith communities and the public
- Recruit a few volunteers to serve
- Help with funding and other resources.
- Help to pay for Portable Toilets, Liability Insurance, Case Management, Volunteer Coordination, Administrative Costs, Etc.
- Provide Sack Lunches (optional)
- Help to print promotional materials
- On-site volunteers for check in and security