For people who call vehicles home, SF supe wants to provide safe haven

Supervisor Vallie Brown has been preparing the latest of a round of city legislative efforts to help the rolling homeless get into permanent housing and avoid racking up pricey parking and registration tickets. But getting those people to accept help is always a tough task.

The measure calls for the creation of a “triage center,” where people living in a vehicle could come to access services like showers and bathrooms without fear of their vehicle being towed. They could also then be assessed by homelessness specialists en route to services, if they choose to pursue them.

Brown’s ordinance also seeks to create a pilot program for what she’s calling a “Vehicular Navigation Center,” a safe place to park overnight for people living in a car or RV. Similar initiatives in Seattle and other California cities have been met with mixed results…

Plans in Los Angeles, where the latest official street counts show at least 9,000 people living in vehicles, and in Seattle, where counts show the surrounding county has 2,300 vehicle campers, have been met with such resistance that few have been actually launched. The most successful program is in Santa Barbara, where a program begun in 2004 has grown to include 133 parking spaces…

Sonoma County ran a lot in Santa Rosa with about 80 safe parking spots for several years until 2017, when the state funding used to run it ran out. County Supervisor Shirlee Zane, who helped spearhead the program, called it “very successful,” and said she’d like to see it replicated if money ever comes available again…(more)

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Program Will Allow Homeless To Pay LA Parking Tickets With Community Service Instead Of Fines

cbsla – excerpt

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday approved a measure to allow homeless people to pay parking citations by performing community service rather than paying a fine.

Under the newly approved program, people who meet the federal definition of being homeless under Title 42 of the Public Health and Welfare Code can go into one of the city’s service provider agencies and apply to perform social services or community services instead of paying the citation fine… (more)

Imports & Domestics: San Francisco Might Have to Kill Its 1971 Ban on Car-Dwelling

By Rachel Swan : sfweekly – excerpt

Utah-born entrepreneur Austen Allred became something of a local folk hero last summer, after living for three months in a two-door Honda Civic while launching his startup in Silicon Valley

Allred is an outlier among car-dwellers: He’s now running a moderately successful Web company with $50,000 in reserves. Most of the newly, partly, or perennially homeless are far less fortunate; they aren’t ingratiating themselves with venture capitalists; they don’t have the option to abscond to an apartment in Utah. Moreover, they’re contending with a 43-year-old ordinance in San Francisco — and a newly proposed law in Palo Alto — that make it illegal to live in a vehicle…

That might change in light of a recent 9th Circuit decision to strike down a Los Angeles law against vehicle-dwelling. Ruling that the law was “unconstitutionally vague” and likely to promote discrimination, the federal appeals court set a precedent for any city trying to eradicate this swath of the homeless population…

It could be a huge point of contention in San Francisco, where, in 2012, the city also added an additional ban against overnight parking of large vans and trailers, which created transient communities along the Great Highway and the outer lip of Golden Gate Park. Here of course, housing prices and a fecund tech economy have created a perfect storm for the Austen Allreds of the world… (more)

Maybe San Francisco could consider investing a relatively meager amount to establish a car park with facilities for people lucky enough to own a motor vehicle car to live in as a few other cities have done. It is a lot cheaper than building low income housing and would take a lot less time to complete. Of course their would be less money for developers and banks.