Community Issues

Car Dealership Offers Homeless Families Overnight Parking

When they discovered one of their clients was sleeping in their car, they knew they had to help.

A dealership in Charlotte, NC is doing much more than selling cars these days.

Kiplin Automotive Group recently started a program where they're opening up one of their lots to people who have fallen on hard times and are sleeping in their cars.

"It's not news that people are sleeping in their cars at night," the group shared in a Facebook post. "Searching for a safe place to park free from disturbance, trespassing, harassment or worse."

Kiplin Automotive Group

By allowing a safe, well-lit area to park overnight to those that need it, KAG is helping with another problem that is plaguing cities all over the nation. Homeless shelters are often full, especially in the winter months, leaving families in a tough situation that can be life-threatening.

The group first got the urge to help their community's homeless population six years ago, when they discovered that one of their clients who had stopped making payments was living out of her car.

Instead of taking away the woman's vehicle, which was her only form of shelter, they put her up in a hotel until she could find a place, because all of the shelters were full.

"That's when we asked God why are we here," the post continued. "Six years later we have one piece of the puzzle. We would like to designate a safe place for those going through this tough time."

"We can't put everyone in a hotel, but we can get you a safe place for the night."

KAG plans to expand their services to do more for the homeless, but for now the lot is a service to the community that is much needed.

They're encouraging the community to spread the word and encourage anyone who needs the parking service to call (704) 201-7601 and ask for James.

Since the post was made last week, several people have reached out to the dealership to find out how they can get a spot.

The group shared a screenshot of a text message they received that simply said, "Please tell me where the lot is? I am homeless and sleep in my truck at a rest stop thank you."

KAG added, "Ps: When I called this person, he was at work."

The initiative is getting lots of positive feedback from the community and they've already gotten dozens of calls and messages from people who want to help.

Misty Jensen commented on the Facebook post with, "Thank you for being an inspiration. Is there anything we can do to help? Donations?"

To which KAG responded, "We are getting set up for that."

An employee at KAG named James followed up with a video last week to give an update on the program and tell people how they're preparing to help families that have nowhere else to go.

"I get so many phone calls, people just saying 'Thank you, how's it going, can we help?'" he said. "What we want to try to do is get organized collect as much stuff as we can. Lots of people want to give blankets and pillows. Right now we're setting the foundation in place to be able to effectively serve those families as that need comes."

What an incredible way to provide support for people in need while inspiring others at the same time. Way to go, Kiplin Automotive Group! We can't wait to see how your initiative grows.

How can you start something good?

Inspired by this amazing act of kindness? You may not own a car dealership, but you can help vulnerable people in your community in a number of ways.

You can consider starting your own winter clothing or blanket drive. Here's a good article with some tips on how to get started.

Donate and/or volunteer at your local community food bank. They can always use the extra hands to stock shelves, pack food items or distribute food to neighborhood centers. Click here to find a food bank near you.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together.

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