LOMPOC, Calif. - The Lompoc City Council voted this week to approve a safe parking program.
The program is aimed at providing vehicular homeless, those who still own a vehicle but not a home, a safe place to sleep overnight.
"Not everyone who ends up homeless is unhoused or in a tent or sleeping on the streets," said Lompoc's Mayor Jenelle Osborne, "Many are still employed, it just doesn't cover the cost of living for them but they have managed to keep their vehicle."
A recent study shows that Lompoc accounts for roughly one-third of all vehicular homelessness in Santa Barbara county. Adding the safe parking program is just one step in addressing the issue.
The best part of this particular project is the price tag. Lompoc will be providing space but is under no further monetary obligation. This is where New Beginnings, a Santa Barbara based non-profit, steps in.
New Beginnings' safe parking program has been a huge success across Santa Barbara county. They currently oversee 26 lots and have not had any major incidents or damage to participating lots or the neighborhoods around them.
"They're all donated," said Cassie Roach, the program manager for New Beginnings' safe parking program, "so we're repurposing community resources like empty parking lots at night and that enables us to provide the safe place for folks to be at no cost."
New Beginnings will also provide on-site services to those in need.
To learn more about New Beginnings, visit their website by clicking here.