San Luis Obispo's safe parking program to rotate locations monthly; host sites needed
The City of San Luis Obispo is changing its safe parking program for people living in their vehicles. Instead of one dedicated parking site, they're transitioning to a rotating model with different locations.
A few years ago, the City partnered with the nonprofit CAPSLO to create a safe parking location at Railroad Square. It’s a place for people living in their vehicles to securely park overnight and to access resources to help them find permanent housing and jobs.
But now the city plans to close that location on August 27. They’re shifting into a rotating model.
Daisy Wiberg, the City’s Homelessness Response Manager, said this means the safe parking location will change every month.
“The vision is to help minimize disruptions at any one specific location and to have a more dispersed model where it's rotating monthly but still hopefully creating a sense of continuity and consistency for the participants,” Wiberg said.
Overnight parking will continue from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the new locations, and CAPSLO will continue providing resources to people who stay there.
Wiberg said the City’s in touch with local faith-based and other community organizations to find potential locations for the rotating safe parking.
“We are open to conversations with any interested business owners or community organizations that have a large parking lot — or at least a parking lot that could host 15 to 20 vehicles or RVs — along with a portable restroom, a wash station and a trash dumpster,” Wiberg said.
Wiberg said the safe parking program’s main goal is to help people find permanent housing.
According to CAPSLO, through the Railroad Safe Parking Program, they’ve helped 36 people find permanent housing, brought back together nine individuals with their families and assisted five people in securing jobs.
Wiberg hopes the new approach will build on that.
“We've seen a lot of success with this model, and having that consistent touchpoint and just a safe place for people to park overnight allows them to have more time and energy to look for jobs and housing,” Wiberg said.
If you are interested in offering a host site or volunteering with CAPSLO, you can visit slocity.org.