Safe Parking Program for homeless at Church of Nazarene slated for discussion at Inyo Supervisors Meeting

Safe Parking Program for Homeless living in vehicles.

Tomorrow, February 16, at 11 a.m., the Inyo County Board of Supervisors will hear an appeal regarding a conditional use permit (CUP) that would allow Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action to operate a Safe Parking Program at the Church of the Nazarene with calls for up to 15 vehicles to be allowed to park in a segregated area of the church parking lot with access to a bathroom from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

IMACA staff will screen and approve all participants in the program which will include a Megan’s Law registration check and whether a participant has ever been disqualified from participating in other IMACA programs. And there will be an on-site monitor required to patrol hourly around the parking lot area at least once every hour.

Sierra Wave reporter, Deb Murphy, reported on Sierra Wave on January 28 that the Inyo County Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for the Nazarene Church Safe Parking Project on January 22, 2020 after considerable discussion. That decision was subsequently appealed to the county board of supervisors.

At that time, residents and Bishop Unified School District officials expressed some concerns for the safety of students using the high school farm in the adjacent lot next to the church parking lot. The students are at the farm early in the morning and various times throughout the day. Concern was also expressed for the potential safety of patients at the Bishop Care Center and Northern Inyo Hospital, as well as the safety of residents and patients at those facilities.

Site plan proposed by IMACA for 15 Safe Parking spots at Church of Nazarene in Bishop, Calif.

BUSD Superintendent Katie Kolker had sent a letter of support last December supporting the project as long as security issues were addressed. She wrote that, “Student safety is our top priority” and went on to acknowledge that helping the homeless was both commendable and warranted given the scope of the problem.

Kolker also noted that the school district, the church, and IMACA have met several times to come up with added security, including motion sensor lighting and cameras, additional fencing, relocating the parking spots to another part of the parking lot further away from the farm, and a 24/7 hotline for the community members to call should they have any concerns or issues.

To watch and/or participate in the virtual meeting, please visit the Inyo County website and click on “Agendas & Minutes.”


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3 Responses to Safe Parking Program for homeless at Church of Nazarene slated for discussion at Inyo Supervisors Meeting

  1. David Dennison February 16, 2021 at 8:46 am #

    IMO,a good idea,as long as it doesn’t go unsupervised and gets out of control,like it seems to have done on the sidewalks and streets in most parts of Southern California.

  2. Lydia February 15, 2021 at 2:14 pm #

    Besides hourly patrols by an on site monitor, what is being done to protect the homeless folks?

    • Glassgoddess February 15, 2021 at 5:34 pm #

      Thanks for that question. These citizens are vulnerable in so many ways. Many thanks to the IMACA staff and church members with the humanity to look for solutions.


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