Safe Parking Program
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The program aims to move homeless back into housing before they lose their vehicle and end up on the street.
- The Safe Parking Program provides a safe parking environment and supportive services for transitional homeless living in their vehicles for overnight stays. Family advocates construct an action plan with each participant placing emphasis on permanent housing solutions, employment, training, emergency supports and asset stabilization and building. The Safe Parking Program operates one parking lot, 7 nights a week, 365 days a year with full staff and volunteer support during program operation times. Homeless individuals in their vehicles arrive nightly at 6:00 p.m. to begin meeting with their family advocates. Each morning the participants are required to leave the parking lot to work on their action plans to end homeless episode. The Safe Parking Program is a cost effective program moving homeless individuals into permanent housing or long-term programs at a rate of 65% for less than $500 a person. The Safe Parking Program includes the following services:
- Emergency Needs Assessment: participants receive basic needs to include blankets, bottle water, canned food, toiletries, and clothing
- Resource Development: participants are screened for public benefits focusing on completing benefits and other program applications.
- Financial Education Classes: participants attend educational classes focusing on goal setting, budgeting and credit and debt management.
- Individual Financial Counseling: participants meet with our financial counselor to review individual credit reports and budgets, instructions and tools to repair their credit reports, review/completion of current and past year’s taxes.
- Workforce Development: participants work with their advocate on developing resumes, interview skills and job search.
- Community Building: the parking lot serves as a place for children to complete their homework, and play and for individuals to share their stories and provide each other support
Roadmap to Success
Sponsors, Investors, and Supporters
Leichtag Foundation strives to alleviate human hardship, advance self-sufficiency and promote tolerance and understanding, reflecting the Leichtag's pride in their Jewish heritage.
Uptown Rotary Club of San Diego
Uptown Rotary seeks to impact the greater San Diego area with hands-on community building through volunteer service, professional development and financial assistance.
FIVE PROJECT QUESTIONS
What is your innovation?
The Safe Parking Program (SPP) is an innovative cost effective service delivery model for the homeless. We provide a private parking lot for homeless in their vehicles to stay and intensive professional support through a blended service package. The goal is to maintain usually their last asset, their vehicle and move people back into housing before ending up on the streets. All services are provided in the parking lot through the use of technology. The SPP reduces burdens on the shelters.
Who gains the most?
Homeless living in their vehicles gain by parking free from ticketing, receiving services and safely sleep nightly. The impacts they experience is reaching services they otherwise would not have known, becoming employed, receiving benefits, learning long-term personnel finance skills, and gaining housing. The community will have increased security by diminishing threats of violence or other criminal acts committed by street criminals to the transitional homeless.
The SPP is a cost-effective service approach. We intentionally seek ways to minimize overhead and indirect cost through the use of technology and by providing services onsite at the parking lot. The SPP is primarily funded by private donors and foundations. Volunteers and interns contribute a value of $85,000 through their volunteer services. For less than $500, we can move a homeless individual back into housing reaching a common goal of ending homelessness.
What is your success?
The successful result is an overall reduction of homelessness. We define success as greater than 75% of clients end homeless episode, those who are employable obtain jobs, and all clients receive basic personnel financial skills. Within 3 years, success would be anyone living in their vehicle would have a space in our program resulting in a reduction of homeless entering into shelters and living on the streets. Five years from now, success would be to replicate this program in other cities.
How will you do it?
To achieve success we must first increase the program size by securing additional parking lots in surrounding cities and municipalities to be able to provide the program to more individuals. Secondly, we need to continue to develop partnerships for a collective impact resulting in reduction of costs, increase opportunities and specific outcome measurements. These partnership opportunities include match savings programs, microloans, subsidized housing and mental health services for our clients.