Establish Citywide Safe Parking Program
Direct the Homeless Strategy Committee, with assistance from the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, City Attorney and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to develop and submit for approval a Safe Parking program including permits for predetermined locations, contracting guidelines for homeless service providers, max vehicle occupancy guidelines per location, service provider engagement for enrollment in homeless case management, and integration with Los Angeles Police Department local policing personnel.
In the City there are thousands of homeless individuals who are living in their vehicles as a last form of housing. Vehicle dwelling by the homeless population is scattered across the City, with some areas having a greater density of occupied vehicles than others. Vehicles provide a sense of security for homeless individuals, as they help alleviate fears that are commonly associated with living on the streets or in shelters.
Throughout the City, several areas designated by ordinances do not allow for overnight parking of oversized vehicles. As a result, homeless individuals who live in their vehicles must move their vehicles or face the risk of getting issued parking fines. This lack of stability further entrenches these individuals into homelessness, stymieing their path to self-sufficiency and housing.
To help alleviate this issue, the City should establish a Safe Parking program that allows for overnight parking at pre-determined locations for homeless individuals who currently dwell in their vehicles as a form of shelter. A Safe Parking program in the City presents opportunities for further integration into city systems and processes that help better serve the homeless population. Safe Parking further enhances the concept of No Wrong Door, as the program can be used to connect homeless individuals to homeless service providers and case management services, including CES.
As a secondary strategy, a Safe Parking program presents an opportunity to further enhance the City’s capacity during an emergency. By having pre-determined designated lots, individuals within the City will have the ability to meet at locations that could be retrofitted as emergency sites. Doing so will create a common point-of-access and alleviate the congestion of traditional emergency sites, while creating effective areas to provide services.
To assist individuals who depend on their vehicles as an alternative to shelters or encampments, the Safe Parking programshould include:
• Issuance of Temporary Use Permits that allow for overnight dwelling within vehicles for a period of 120 days toallow for the development of a Safe Parking program
• A legal framework that allows for the use of designated city-owned lots for overnight parking
• A streamlined permitting process that would allow for non-profit and faith-based organizations to opt-in and utilizetheir parking lots for overnight parking
• Mobile facilities at several designated locations for homeless individuals to use, as some overnight lot locations maynot have or allow for use of their facilities