Safe parking program gets rolling at Ballard Church
Ballard’s long-awaited safe parking program opened with little fanfare the weekend of
March 17, when one car quietly rolled into one of five parking spaces across the street from Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church.
The church provides the parking spots and access to bathrooms, and neighbors and church members have
offered to bring meals or repair cars for the people parking there.
Church members built new doors on one side of its fellowship hall to give people living out of their cars a way to access a bathroom.
This is the first program of its kind in Seattle, a pilot that could be expanded to other churches in Ballard and Lake City.
Safe parking programs already exist in other cities, like Eugene, Ore.
The city and state legislators allocated $30,000 for a pilot project run by the Compass Housing Alliance and area churches to establish safe places to park.
Our Redeemer’s will host the site, but Compass Housing Alliance screens clients and works with them to find permanent housing.
The program became possible after Seattle City Councilperson Mike O’Brien became aware of the number of car campers who live around Ballard.
The One Night Count by the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness counted 791 people living in cars in January.
O’Brien and state legislators found funding for the program.
To sign up for a parking spot, call 206-357-3264.
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