(PALO ALTO WEEKLY) -- When Palo Alto agreed to allow local congregations to establish "safe parking" programs for unhoused individuals who live in vehicles, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto eagerly jumped at the chance.
Since January 2020, the church has been making plans to establish such a program at its parking lot at 505 Charleston Road, said Christopher Kan, chair of the church's safe-parking program. The program would provide a secure space for selected participants to park between 6 p.m. and 7:30 a.m, as well as bathroom access and case management geared at shifting them toward more permanent living arrangements.
Kan, who lives near Greer Park, says he sees people living in cars in just about every neighborhood, including his own. Church leaders agreed that by welcoming some of them to a "safe lot" and providing them with social services, they would be directly addressing one of the most difficult problems in the city, as well as the state, he said.
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