ONTARIO — Homeless motorists are the focus of the new safe lots initiative being discussed by community volunteer Chris Plummer. Being instrumental in organizing this potential program, Plummer said there is a need in our community to address this concern as there are homeless motorists living within the community.
“I think we can get by with five to ten [spaces],” Plummer explained at an initial community meeting held Thursday at the downtown Jolts & Juice.
He said even having this amount of lots would be beneficial and make a difference for individuals and families in this situation. Plummer said the number of spaces is the start of the pilot program and his forming organization would seek more in the future if the need is there.
Also in attendance at the first safe lots meeting was community volunteer Eddy Thiel and James Vogt, pastor of the Origin Faith Community church. Vogt’s church is a local group that is responsible for opening Ontario’s only day shelter, which will open next week, and is very familiar with community outreach programs such as the one being proposed.
Plummer said when he toured homeless shelters in larger metropolitan areas, such as Portland, he was dismayed to hear that when people seek refuge at one of these shelters, they are told things, such as “if you stay here, you will get bed bugs and head lice.”
This concern compounds the problem for these individuals according to Plummer.
While the potential program is still in the basic planning stages, the remainder of the meeting consisted of laying out the next steps which included exploring sites for consideration.
Plummer said he has three locations that he is currently evaluating, though did not disclose further information about them at the time.