Churches Launch Car Park for Homeless

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Members of the Interfaith Council of Alameda County (ICAC).

Oakland’s faith-based Safe Car Park Program for the homeless will hold a grand opening Monday, March 18, 10 a.m. at Williams Chapel Baptist Church, 1410 10th Ave. in Oakland.
The program is starting with funding provided by a grant of $50,000 from Alameda County.

Williams Chapel is the first of four sites in Oakland to implement the program.

Alameda County funding is tied to County District 3, but the money is flexible and will support the entire program developed by the Interfaith Council of Alameda County (ICAC), according to Pastor Ken Chambers of ICAC.

Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan said, “I’m thrilled that our work on the Council to authorize these programs to help the homeless, in partnership with our faith community—is becoming a reality.

“I am thankful for the dedication of our community and congregations stepping up to help, and I remain committed to continue the work to expand our homeless solutions to respond to the magnitude of the problem with dignity and effectiveness,” she said.

Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan said, “My office was glad to join the faith community to implement this temporary solution to the homeless crisis in Oakland.”

ADT will be installing security cameras within the next week at all four sites, and JJ Iron Company will install walk-in gates at three of the four sites. Additional lighting installation has yet to be scheduled.

Corinthians Baptist, Mount Zion Baptist Church and West Side Missionary Baptist Church each will have safe car park clients on their parking lots.

Lara Tannenbaum, from the City of Oakland Health and Human Service has committed to order and cover the cost of portable toilets at the sites, starting with the one toilet at Williams Chapel.

All other ICAC Safe Car Park sites will come online by mid-April 2019, providing that City of Oakland grant funds are available, said Pastor Chambers.

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