REDMOND, OR -- A “safe parking” program in Redmond is expanding to a third location. Mountain View Community Development Safe Parking Director Sierra Hopper says they provide space for adults and families living in a car or RV. But participants must agree to meet with a case manager regularly, "They help you towards overall stability. Maybe it’s getting a Social Security card or a birth certificate so you can get your license; it could be as basic as that. Writing a resume so you can get a job; working with other outside agencies to get on some affordable housing lists," she tells KBND News, "As well as allowing someone a safe place to park where law enforcement won’t be constantly asking them to move."
The Redmond program is run out of Mountain View Fellowship, the first safe parking location. Four participants are currently at the church, with another family at the Redmond VFW. This third location, set to open next week, is on county-owned land at SE Seventh and Evergreen.
Hopper hopes eventually to expand to 40 participants spread across 10 host sites. But, she acknowledges the concept has been tough for the community to embrace, "People don’t just believe when I tell them, ‘no, our participants are good people that are just looking for some help.’ They need to see it. And so, I think with this new property coming available and with people being put on it, they will see that what we’re saying is true and that will open up a lot more opportunities for us, in terms of businesses and other churches and agencies willing to help." Many of the participants are families, the youngest is just one year old.
"This is a low-cost, easy program that actually works and helps people, and it’s proven," says Hopper, "It’s a nationwide program, we’re not the first to invent the wheel. You can easily do a Google search and you will find this program in many other counties and areas of Oregon and in other states."
Click HERE for more information, to volunteer or to sign up for the program.