California leading the way: special gated parking lots for homeless middle class

From CNN: “There are 12 parking lots across Santa Barbara that have been set up to accommodate the growing middle-class homelessness. These lots are believed to be part of the first program of its kind in the United States, according to organizers. The lots open at 7 p.m. and close at 7 a.m. and are run by New Beginnings Counseling Center, a homeless outreach organization. It is illegal for people in California to sleep in their cars on streets. New Beginnings worked with the city to allow the parking lots as a safe place for the homeless to sleep in their vehicles without being harassed by people on the streets or ticketed by police. Harvey stays at the city’s only parking lot for women. “This is very safe, and that’s why I feel very comfortable,” she said. Nancy Kapp, the New Beginnings parking lot coordinator, said the group began seeing a need for the lots in recent months as California’s foreclosure crisis hit the city hard. She said a growing number of senior citizens, women and lower- and middle-class families live on the streets.'” Full article here parkinglots

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