Write to City Council In Support of Safe Parking

12 Jan

This is a sample letter for you to send to Mayor Gordo and the Pasadena City Council in support of allowing Safe Parking as a permitted use on religious property. Please feel free to personalize this letter and to add your own thoughts. 

Please send it to:

vgordo@cityofpasadena.net,jerivas@cityofpasadena.net, jlyon@cityofpasadena.net, justinjones@cityofpasadena.net, thampton@cityofpasadena.net,smadison@cityofpasadena.net,fwilliams@city ofpasadena.net, gmasuda@cityofpasadena.net,correspondence@cityofpasadena.net 

Allow Safe Parking as a Permitted Use for Religious Institutions

I am writing because I’m  concerned about our unhoused neighbors living on the street and in their vehicles. On December 28, a 60-year-old woman named Corina Monroy was murdered here in Pasadena in the 99 Cent Store parking lot on Los Robles Ave, where she lived in her van. She was a kind, friendly person involved with Lake Avenue Church and was well loved by many. I don’t want to see tragedies like this happen again.

For this reason, I am asking you to allow Safe Parking as a permitted use for religious institutions in our city. Safe Parking is a program that allows people in their vehicles to sleep in designated parking spots, with supportive services, security and case management to help them become housed.

Safe Parking was a policy recommended by the Mayor’s Task Force and in our city’s Housing Element, where it was supposed to be studied in 2024.  I urge you to implement this policy as soon as possible.

A church in our city has a Safe Parking pilot program for over two years, with no serious negative incidents. The church partners with Foothill Unity Center that provides case management and support to help parkers to become housed. The church also contracts with a security company to ensure safety. So far, several parkers have been housed or have entered into a rehab program. 

Churches are permitted to have unhoused people sleep on their campus or in their social hall, but not in their vehicles in their parking lots. I urge you to allow Safe Parking as a permitted use for religious institutions, just as the City allows the Safe Haven program where people sleep outdoors or in tents on religious land.  Permitting Safe Parking will make it easier for religious institutions to apply for grants to run this program properly. If Corina Monroy had been in a Safe Parking program, she would likely still be alive.

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