Open Collective
Open Collective
Winter Wheels
Published on December 21, 2020 by E

Chicago Community Jail Support is looking to buy a vehicle to make the operation sustainable during the winter months. Below we have established the need, use and parameters of this vehicle.

Purchase Budget: $5,000

Vehicle Type: 15-seat Van (no brand, model specified), or RV under 22’ in length, or similar vehicle

Purpose: The immediate need for the van is that during the winter months, setting up the tent in front of the jail will not be feasible due to snow banks, perma-frosted ground, excessive wind and sub-freezing air temperature. Because of this, we believe the best option for the group is to purchase a van which  can store supplies on site and provide heat for people being released from the Jail. The group intends to buy the most cost-effective vehicle that is available, considering not only the up-front capital expenditure, but also the expected maintenance throughout the life of the vehicle. 

The vehicle will need to be classified as a personal vehicle (under 22’, less than 16 passengers, less than 26,001 lbs) in order to satisfy city parking guidelines and commercial driving requirements. Which makes a 15 seat (or less) van the most reasonable option. If it is over these requirements, we will require commercial drivers licenses or 

The van will:

  • House supplies, such as drinks, food, clothing etc. when at the Jail, in lieu of or in addition to setting up the tent
  • Provide warmth for a small number of people being released as they wait for their ride
  • Provide a vehicle to store equipment and use during set up/tear down as needed

The van will not:

  • Give people being released rides home, as it will be needed on-site at the jail.
  • House more than two (2) volunteers and two (2) people released at once (subject to change depending on vehicle dimensions and necessary COVID precautions)

Finances: Locked $1,000 from a private contributor. Additional funding TBD.

Additional needs from the vehicle include:

  • Overnight Parking
  • Large Passenger (LB) license: Vehicle with curb weight of 4,501 lbs or more with a payload capacity of 2,499 lbs
  • Permit to be acquired from local wards
  • Overnight parking needs to be confirmed with local aldermen to mitigate future complications
  • Insurance
  • Need to determine name to put down
  • Price gotten from Progressive. Open to more options
  • Improvements
  • Before purchase, check vehicle with mechanic to assess state
  • Paint purple to be identifiable
  • Should not create signs on the vehicle signifying group name or could be considered commercial, This would disqualify us from residential parking rates.

Estimated Expenditure

Vehicle (est.): $5,000.00

Parking Permit (per year): $144.33

Insurance (est. per year): $350.00

Fuel (est. per year): $300.00

Maintenance (oil changes, etc): $300.00

Improvements (paint, interior): TBD

Total: $6,094.33

**Credit to Eric O for writing this proposal and to all members of our Winter Prep working group for working hard to make this dream a reality!**