LOS ANGELES (RNS) — When a Jewish congregation in Los Angeles bought a new piece of property last summer, members wondered how they could use their new office and event space in a way that would align with their values. 

They decided that sharing their parking lot with people living in their cars was the way to go.

In a county where more than 16,000 people live in their vehicles, it just seemed like “an obvious right thing for us to do and the right way for us to use our property,” said Brooke Wirtschafter, director of community organizing for post-denominational Jewish congregation Ikar.

Late last year, Ikar became the latest house of worship to partner with Safe Parking LA, a nonprofit that provides safe places

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