Safe Car Park Program Sponsored by the Interfaith Council of Alameda County

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Mayor Libby Schaaf, standing, 4th from left, with the Interfaith Council of Alameda County (ICAC) board of directors, elected council and part of the membership body.

In the midst of a growing homeless population in Alameda Count and as numbers have even doubled in  Oakland, city staff is threatening to cut off funding to the Interfaith Council of Alameda’s Safe Car Program even though it was recommended by the city administration and unanimously approved by Oakland City Council.

Therefore, ICAC has revised its Safe Car Park Program. Mayor Libby Schaaf supports this program and wants to see the community use all three city-sponsored sites occupied to at least 50 perent capacity.

The newly revised program allows clients access in and out of their vehicles from 7 p.m. to midnight. From midnight to 7 a.m., the gates will be locked. This program is offered seven days a week, 365 days a year. There will be a smoking section – cigarettes only – on each site.

The program will help clients with minor auto repairs, some parking tickets (provided the City of Oakland reduces the parking ticket fees), DMV vehicle registration, emergency gas fund and personal care packages dependent on the availability of the funding.

Weekly showers and laundry services will be offered every Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at ICAC Hub, 732 Willow St, Oakland.

In order for clients to receive the benefits from the program, they must enroll in the program online (interfaithac.org), by calling Scott Blake at 510-239-8832 or in person at one of the sites (listed below); agree to all of the program rules; sign a contract; and park daily consistently with no problems or unruly behavior for 30 days of the 90-day program. If all goes well, clients can receive a 90-day extension.

There are four ICAC Safe Car Park program sites: ICAC Hub/West Side Missionary Baptist Church, 732 Willow St.; Center Street Baptist Church, 940 Center St.; Corinthians Baptist Church, 928 Castrol St.; and Williams Chapel Baptist Church, 1410 10th Ave.

Mayor Schaaf and the Rev. Ken Chambers, president and founder of ICAC, agree that the rising homeless problems in this region requires  “All Hands on Deck.”

Chambers is asking the Oakland Police, BART Police departments and the Oakland Housing Authority to refer clients to ICAC’s program instead of towing homeless clients’ vehicles which are so many families’ homes.

ICAC is hosting the follow-up to the July Regional Gathering on Housing, Homeless solutions and best practices on  Thurs., Sept. 12th, 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. at ICAC’s Hub, 732 Willow St., Oakland.

Special Invited guests are BART Board President Bevan Dufty; BART Board Member Lateefah Simon (West Oakland Station); BART General Manager Rob Power; Jacquelyn McCormick, chief of staff of the office Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin; and City Community Housing Services Manager Lara Tannenbaum.

For ICAC’s Safe Car Park Program application go to http://www.interfaithac.org or Call ICAC program coordinator Scott Blake at 510-239-8832.

To make a donation go to www.interfaithac.org.

For homeless Safe Car Park program outreach community consultant opportunities, call Rev. Ken Chambers 510-239-6681.

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