Frequently Asked Questions
RE: SAYING YES TO BEING A SAFE PARKING PARTNER
Safe Parking LA (SPALA) will list your institution as an additional insured to our already $1,000,000- $2,000,000 policy. In addition, each vehicle dweller is required to have their own motor vehicle insurance.
Safe Parking LA has been running 5 sites (as of Oct 24, 2018) with 60 vehicles and 75 people with 2 calls to LAPD. In both instances, the Safe Parking LA security guards thwarted vandals from outside the program. The Safe Parking program served as a deterrent to criminal activity by others. The Koreatown lot is shared with people living in their cars, 10 year old boys playing basketball, and a preschool which rents their space from the church. There are bands which use the church as well while the vehicle dwellers settle in for the night.
The Santa Barbara program with 125 vehicles (Cars and RVs) which has been in existence for over 14 years has not experienced 1 instance of vandalism and in fact the Santa Barbara Police Department has acknowledged the reduction in calls and citations re: people living in their vehicles.
The San Diego program with 75 and soon to be 115 spaces and has been around for 10 years has had 2 episodes of vandalism. Those instances were not from the vehicle dwellers, but from people outside of the program. People living in their vehicles serve as a deterrent to vandalism and are not the source of it. In Santa Barbara, there are preschools and evening programs which co-exist with Safe Parking in the same lot. None of the schools associated with Safe Parking Santa Barbara have seen a loss of student populace in the 13 years. Certainly no crime against the children has occurred.
3. COST OF THE PROGRAM
The Safe Parking program does not cost anything. Each private parking lot owner gets a $500 stipend for soft costs that the lot owner might bear such as water and electricity.
4. DIFFICULT CLIENTS
All applicants are fully screened, an application is filled out and a waiver is signed. Part of the application includes all of the rules and regulations about noise, camping, cooking etc. Single men are also screened in the National Sex Offender database. Eviction and termination of lot privileges can be immediate. An active relationship is maintained with LAPD and the City Council office so that immediate expulsion from the lot can be carried out quickly. The Safe Parking program is geared toward people who want to be serviced and housed and not persons running drug or prostitution businesses.
5. PROGRAM HOURS
The standard safe parking program runs from approximately 6 pm to 6:30 am 7 days per week. However, there will be flexibility so that if the lot owner needs all of the lot until a certain time, then the lot “guests” will have to wait nearby before they can be welcomed in for the evening. There are Santa Barbara lots that allow for the co-existence of evening programs at the church or synagogue while the Safe parking participants park in another part of the lot. That co-existence seems to work out just fine. This would include evening programs that include parents and children of the host organization. Since there will be SPALA lot monitors/security in place, safety will be of the utmost importance for both the host program participants and the Safe Parking lot guests.
All Safe Parking programs will have some form of sanitation arranged and paid for by Safe Parking LA unless the local facility allows access to restrooms on site.
7. CASE MANAGEMENT
Since Safe Parking LA is a transitional “Safe Refuge” for people living in their vehicles, case managing will be arranged by Safe Parking LA with the local Service lead or provider. Case management is performed with the intent of getting more services for the vehicle dweller and eventually get them off the street and into housing.