The Sisters of Providence from Mother Joseph Province have found a unique way to help with homelessness in the Seattle area. Sisters Joan Gallagher and Maureen Newman lend their hands to help.
“Homelessness is hard to “solve” because there are so many different causes. People face so many different circumstances–some are alone, other have children. Shelters may accept only families or have other requirements.
One way to help those fortunate enough to still have transportation is to find a safe place to park overnight, free from the dangers that come from parking on a deserted street or shopping center parking lot.
Sr. Joan Gallaher, SP, volunteers weekly with the Safe Parking Program at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.(OLG) Sr. Maureen Newman, SP, often joins her in cleaning the hut.
To participate, the parish provides a space for up to seven cars, room for a portable toilet and portable hospitality hut. In the “Red Hut” participants can heat food, store perishable items and charge their phones. OLG volunteers clean the hut daily. St. Vincent de Paul Society volunteers stock it with basic food items.
The program, in partnership with Seattle’s Urban League, provides safe overnight parking and permits up to three vehicles of homeless single adults or couples. The League provides and maintains a portable toilet.
During 2021, the program hosted ten families.
It may not be the biggest operation to help homelessness, but to those who use it, I bet it means a great deal to them!
Barbara McMullen, CDP