At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board of Supervisors passed a motion authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to continue operating one current Safe Parking site in the Third District as well as look for opportunities to expand the program to more county-owned sites.
Safe parking areas throughout the County, two of which are in the Third District, are providing security, bathroom facilities, and housing services for some of the estimated 16,000 people living in their cars throughout Los Angeles County. Nonprofit Safe Parking LA operates the program, including managing the parking lot, developing an action plan with each person, and guiding them to permanent housing, jobs, training, emergency support, and other services.
Safe Parking LA’s partnership with the County kicked off in June of 2019 with ten spots each at two parking lots owned by the County — at 5205 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood and 5300 Tujunga Avenue in North Hollywood.
The motion passed this week accomplishes three objectives. First, it extends a lease with the Department of Public Health to allow the Safe Parking site in Hollywood to continue operating for 12 months. Second, it provides approval for a second Safe Parking program at a DPH clinic in North Hollywood. Finally, this motion delegates authority to the Chief Executive Office to expand the Safe Parking program by identifying more suitable county-owned lots for new sites.
“Safe parking areas not only provide people living in their cars with a secure place to sleep, but they also create a centralized location where people can begin to receive help in finding permanent housing,” said Kuehl. “We’re starting small, but we expect this program to grow by making more and more County-owned lots available.”
LA County’s partnership with Safe Parking LA is part of our ongoing efforts to reduce homelessness through a multi-pronged strategy outlined in the County’s Homeless Initiative.