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Advocates Call to Eliminate Conn. Home Care Workers’ Parking Fees

July 9, 2014

The Naugatuck Valley Project (NVP), an organization that advocates for social and economic justice in communities, is calling on Mayor Neil O’Leary of Waterbury, Connecticut, to eliminate home care workers’ parking fees when they are providing services and supports to their clients in the downtown area.

The lack of available free, onsite parking spots at downtown buildings where home care workers routinely visit their clients prompted NVP to urge the mayor to find a solution for home care workers who have to disrupt their work to either feed the street meters or pay heftier fees at parking garages, according to an article in the Republican-American.

“If you’re at Josephine Towers and you’re at the parking meter, you’re going to be there two hours, and if you’re delayed in going downstairs to put in more quarters, you get a ticket for $50 or your car gets towed away,” NVP Community Organizer Elizabeth Rosa is quoted in the article as saying.

“Parking garages can cost upwards of $75 to $85 per month, far too steep for what the workers are paid,” Rosa said. “Most of them make less than $9 an hour on a part time basis.”

NVP had asked that the city provide free parking passes for the home care aides, but Monroe Webster, an aide to the mayor, is quoted in the article saying, “We can’t give out that many passes; we just don’t have an ability to do that.”

More than 200 home care workers make visits to their downtown clients each week during business hours, according to the article.

While free parking passes have been ruled out as an option, Webster said that he would like to get the aides, NVP, city officials, and garage owners together to discuss the possibility of lowering parking fees for the home care workers.

— by Deane Beebe

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