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Many people across California who are no longer able to afford or find stable housing are now forced to spend their nights sleeping in their cars. San Diego local nonprofits like Jewish Family Service and Dreams for Change run safe parking programs for people who are homeless but still have a car. Pre-screened participants in the programs can park and sleep in their cars in designated lots at night. The programs can be wildly controversial, as evidenced by the uproar that met Encinitas’ proposal to open a safe parking lot. The plan was approved in January, and the lot opened earlier this month. A Carlsbad city councilwoman told us she hopes her city explores a similar program.
On this week’s San Diego Explained, I teamed up with NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia to explain how exactly these programs work.