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LA Launches Safe Parking Initiative to Support Homeless

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“Home for the holidays,” is a popular catchphrase this time of year. But not everyone has a conventional house to go home to. Some live out of their RVs or vehicles.

City leaders in Los Angeles estimate that 9,000 residents live out of RVs and cars. That’s why the city launched a Safe Parking program this Wednesdsay, celebrating its first site: a North Hills area church parking lot. The project’s goal is to support homeless individuals with safe places to park their portable homes overnight. This will help prevent them and their vehicles from the dangers associated with living on the street.

Merle Johnson, local homeless individual, articulates three common scenarios for those who live out of their cars. “It’s very difficult, and sometimes I’m at the point I’m even afraid to get out of my car, because I don’t know if it’s going to be towed or stolen or vandalized.”

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Another hazard the homeless face is the potential for other vehicles to ram into their RV or vehicle during the night. This tragedy occurred this past weekend in Pacoima, as one local homeless man sleeping in his vehicle was the victim of a hit-and-run crash.

Per Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, safe overnight parking is just one aspect of the Safe Parking program. The initiative will also serve to help connect families with the resources they need to transition from homelessness into permanent housing.

So far, five Safe Parking zones have opened in LA, and four more are in the works. We look forward to more details in the days ahead as the project expands throughout the city.

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News Source: ABC7 News