Covington Safe Parking (CSP) is a partnership between St. John the Baptist and CCS/CHS that provides a safe overnight location for people experiencing homelessness. The inspiration for this ministry came from parishioner Nancy Huntington who saw the Safe Parking program as “our piece of the bucket.” She continued, “there’s so much to do, but this is a piece we can do. It keeps these people safe and that’s important.”
Since November 2018, thirty-one guests have found safety in the parking lot at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. CSP guests receive a parking sticker, one of the six assigned parking spaces and access to showers and bathrooms. CSP not only provides a safe place to park but also provides guests with access to services that lead to permanent housing options. CCS Case Manager, Gretchen Marshall, works with CSP clients and believes, “They are all victims of poverty, abuse, and mental illness. They all deserve a home.” Recently CSP has helped three people get into permanent housing and many guests have gone back to family or into some type of shelter program.
The Safe Parking Program is a ministry of presence to neighbors in need as they move from homelessness to home. Special thanks to St. John the Baptist Parishioners and community volunteers who provide time and tangible donations of food and funding.
If you would like to explore new and expanded parish based outreach programs for the most vulnerable of our neighbors in Western Washington please contact your local CCS Network Builder:
- Mary Wahl – firstname.lastname@example.org (Whatcom, Snohomish, Island, San Juan)
- José Ortiz – email@example.com (Skagit County)
- Erin Maguire – firstname.lastname@example.org (King County)
- Nick Leider – email@example.com (Pierce, Mason, Lewis, Thurston, Kitsap, Wahkiakum, Jefferson, Clallam, Pacific, Cowlitz, Clark, Skamania)
- Isabel Cisneros Rueda – firstname.lastname@example.org (Grays Harbor)