Our mission is simple. We want to end homelessness through private support and efforts. It will be faster, less expensive and the most humane solution to care for our homeless neighbors and avoid some of the bureaucracy of government. SPaLA is starting first with those persons living in vehicles. In LA city there are 3900 vehicles with 7100 persons and in LA county there are 6700 vehicles with 12,200 persons ( see reference below). These are part of the 49,000 person homeless community in Los Angeles, living in their vehicles, who are living in temporary shelters, or living on the street.
Founded in 2016, Safe Parking LA is a coordinating organization for the community which assists individuals experiencing homelessness. We support the implementation of Safe Parking streets and a Safe Parking Program (S.P.P.), which imparts legal protections to individuals dwelling in vehicles.
The City of L.A. is currently (as of 2016) in the process of creating a Safe Parking Program throughout its 15 Council districts. An S.P.P. will provide case management and and safe overnight parking to individuals and families living in their vehicles. The city of Santa Barbara, in conjunction with the lead social service agency, New Beginnings, has operated a S.P.P. since 2004 in cooperation with numerous local churches, the county of Santa Barbara, the city of Santa Barbara, and non-profit agencies and businesses. They provide confidential, daily-monitored parking places for those who are living in their vehicles because they do not have sufficient income to provide for their basic need of affordable housing. In addition to operating 115 safe overnight parking spaces, the Santa Barbara S.P.P. connects the chronically homeless to shelters and services that will get them off the streets and into safer environments. Program staff distribute more than 450 pounds of food each month and offer a rapid re-housing component that provides case management to transition program participants into permanent housing and employment.
Also in Santa Barbara, New Beginnings offers job tutoring, resume preparation and facilitates outside agency connections as needed to help participants gain employment or obtain government benefits. On a case-by-case basis, New Beginnings will write grants on behalf of clients to help them obtain cash assistance to pay for medical and dental expenses, and other costly, but life-changing support. In order to participate in S.B.’s S.P.P., current proof of a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance is required.
The Los Angeles S.P.P. has a larger number of vehicle dwellers to accommodate. Just in L.A., there are over 7,100 persons living in vehicles (cars and R.V.s) each night, per the L.A. County Homeless Count performed in January 2016. In L.A. County there are a total of 12,200 persons living in vehicles. These vehicle dwellers represent 25% of the population of people (total 49,000) experiencing homelessness in L.A. County during the count in 2016.
In Los Angeles, an interim novel idea has been instituted as an amendment to LAMC( Los Angeles Municipal Code) 85.02. This amendment which we call the Green Street program protects residential areas from people sleeping in their cars and yet accommodates those persons experiencing homelessness. All 21 L.A.P.D. (Los Angeles Police Department) divisions within each of the 15 Council districts have Green streets demarcated where 'The Vehicularly Homeless" can park and sleep. LAPD has printed maps to distribute to car and RV dwellers and those maps are also accessible online at: https://www.lacity.org/for-residents/popular-services/comprehensive-homeless-strategy-implementation/los-angeles-municipal
Learn the process on making Safe Parking in LA