SLO extends homeless parking program
October 3, 2012
The parking program, which began in June as a response to police ticketing of the homeless for violating a city ordinance against overnight parking, allots five spaces for members of the community to park their car at night. A majority of the council said they support expanding the program, which remains temporary, and the council directed city staff to explore a permanent parking program for the homeless.
Councilwoman Kathy Smith expressed some concern, though, that an expansion of the program would lead to an expansion of the homeless community in the city. Smith referred to such a problem as the “magnet effect.”
Prado Day Center Program Director Dee Torres also said homeless migration to San Luis Obispo is increasing. Torres said that the announcement on the Oprah Winfrey Show that San Luis Obispo is “the happiest city in America” has attracted many homeless people to move to the area.
And while Torres is touting the success of its program claiming it has been able to place several homeless people into housing, those interviewed by CCN claim they either found housing on their own or through agencies not affiliated with the Prado Day Center. In addition, several homeless contend Torres’ requirement that homeless provide 70 percent of their income to homeless services is unreasonable.