ABC7 viewers jump into action to help Oakland woman living in her car despite two jobs

ByJobina Fortson via KGO logo
Thursday, October 18, 2018
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The life of an Oakland woman who is homeless despite working two jobs has been changed, thanks to ABC7 viewers.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The life of an Oakland woman who is homeless despite working two jobs has been changed, thanks to ABC7 viewers.

ABC 7 News met Jane Parisi working two jobs and living out of her car in Oakland.

However, just as hope was beginning to fade for her, something great happened. ABC 7 News viewers responded to a call to action.

"It's really important to recognize the humanity of the people who are living on our streets and sidewalks," Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Council Member At-Large, said.

RELATED: Despite two jobs, Oakland woman lives in her car

Kaplan watched Parisi's story, and that same night, Oakland's city council passed a measure allowing church parking lots to serve as safe spaces for people sleeping in their vehicles. That plan had been in the works for some time.

Reverend Ken Chambers, Pastor of Westside Missionary Baptist Church, is now responsible for launching the program that will in turn help Parisi, and many others like her.

The churches need some work completed before the program can begin. "When people are on the premises we have to have high visibility," Chambers said. A security fence, proper lighting, and trimmed trees are required of the properties.

The program was slated to start in January of 2019, but Reverend Chambers is committed to starting sooner.

RELATED: Oakland man whose stuff was trashed by 'Jogger Joe' still homeless despite donations

"People need it right now," Chambers said. "Winter is coming. The holidays are coming. We want to move expeditiously."

ABC 7 News shared this good news with Parisi once our crew met up with her in Berkeley Wednesday night. The news continued to get better.

Leigh Ann Pincus, an Oakland resident, walked in our interview. She and her husband, touched by Parisi's story, offered to give her what she needs to get on her feet and out of her car.

Parisi was just about speechless.

RELATED: New Oakland program designed to keep people housed

"I didn't know what I was going to do you know," Parisi said.

If that gesture wasn't enough. Our ABC 7 News crew presented Parisi with one more thing, a list of everyone who called, and emailed after seeing her story. All of them offered to help her.

"It's unbelievable," Parisi said. "It really is. Thank you."

Parisi said she knows the response is more than she needs, so she plans to pay it forward.

A friend has set up a Fundly campaign for Parisi. Visit this page to make a donation.

For more stories related to the homeless, visit this page.