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New Safe Parking lot in Clairemont opens for homeless families

Posted at 1:35 PM, Apr 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-26 16:35:37-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A dozen homeless families will be moving into trailers parked in a designated parking lot in San Diego’s Clairemont area.

Michael Johns and his family said they were paying close to $3,000 a month for a hotel room. It’s a lot of money the family didn’t have after Johns was laid off from his job.

Johns said people think they’re homeless because “’Oh, they must be on drugs or maybe they have mental illness and stuff.’ But that wasn't our case; we're the other case where it was affordability.”

The Johns family was connected with the Jewish Family Service (JFS), and after a screening process they received news, they’d be moving into a temporary trailer until they can get back on their feet.

But the services don’t stop there, as during their stay, each family will also be connected to resources, from housing and employment assistance to financial education.

The effort is all part of the new Rose Canyon Safe Parking lot, under the city’s Safe Parking Program. The lots will operate 24 hours a day, providing a safe space for those experiencing homelessness, allowing residents to sleep in their cars overnight. There will be a total of 15 spaces.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said this is part of the city and San Diego County’s ongoing commitment to tackling the issues of homelessness. But he’s challenging other cities to help.

“There's nothing magical about this parking lot. Every city in this county has one. Consider whether your city can make space for the people who are homeless in your city,” Gloria said.

The city and county are already working on a similar site in Vista.