Jewish Family Service’s Safe Parking Program gets a boost from Del Mar eateries
San Diego’s unsheltered are eating a little better thanks to an innovative collaboration between Jewish Family Service (JFS) and Del Mar’s Flower Hill Promenade (Flower Hill). JFS’s Safe Parking Program was established to give people living in their cars or RVs a more protected place to sleep at night. Besides offering a secure parking lot, individuals and families staying in one of JFS’s four lots have access to support services, including basic needs assistance, employment, wellness, education and financial support, and a pathway to housing.
San Diego’s Unsheltered Finds Comfort and Community in Dinners
The program recently became more robust when Flower Hill’s “Spreading Joy” Charitable Giving Campaign offered dinner for the Safe Parking Program participants. Nicole Ludwig, Flower Hill asset manager, told the Del Mar Times, “…Flower Hill wanted to do something that not only benefited the many homeless families in San Diego but also help[s] our local restaurants who have been struggling during this pandemic, forced to shut down and lay off many employees.”
Flower Hill stepping in and stepping up is an excellent example of how the business sector can and should support people in need. As of December 2020, they had raised over $20,000 for the meals.
Milton’s Deli, Burger Lounge, Cucina Enoteca, Richard Walker’s Pancake House, Venissimo Cheese, Flower Child, Whole Foods, and Chipotle are all taking part in the effort to address and alleviate the suffering of homelessness. Meals are prepared on-site, packaged individually, and delivered to the parking lots by the restaurants.
The pandemic has negatively impacted so many people in our community. People who were struggling before the pandemic find it even more challenging to get support. And many people are experiencing homelessness for the first time as a result of COVID-19. The hearty and delicious meals, lovingly prepared by restaurant employees who are also facing daunting times, bring together a sense of community for all. For the individuals and families living in their cars, the dinners remind them that their community cares for them.
Fighting Homelessness is Everyone’s Business
Our region’s homeless crisis is a complex problem that can feel intractable when you see folks each night with no roof over their heads. It’s an issue too big for one organization to address. As JFS and Flower Hill, with help from generous community members, have shown – it’s up to all of us to come together to make a positive difference in the lives of San Diego’s unsheltered.
Your help is the most effective way to make change happen in the lives of those in need. Consider supporting the collaborative efforts of the Flower Hill Safe Parking Program or sharing this story on your favorite social media channel to spread the word.