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Encinitas City Council votes in favor of safe parking lot for homeless

Posted at 9:56 AM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 12:56:37-05

ENCINITAS, Calif. (KGTV) -- After more than four hours of public comment, the Encinitas City Council approved a resolution to create a safe parking lot for homeless people living in their cars.

Voice of San Diego’s Kayla Jimenez tweeted that the council voted 4-1 in favor of the lot. The lot will be located at the Leichtag Commons, an agricultural property on Saxony Road.

The parking lot will be run by Jewish Family Service (JFS), which currently operates three other safe parking lots in San Diego.

The lot will have space for 25 cars that can be parked between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Funding for the lot comes from a $256,000 state grant under the Homeless Emergency Aid Program, known as HEAP.

JFS will also provide wrap-around services that are designed to get the homeless residents into permanent housing.

JFS says that their existing safe parking lots have moved 42% of the people into permanent housing, though they admit they are unable to track others after they left the program.

Wednesday night’s meeting drew a large crowd of concerned residents.

“Why does the council insist on inviting crime, mentally ill, drug addicts to the residents of our town?” said one resident.

“This feels sneaky,” another resident added.

There were some Encinitas residents who were supportive of the resolution, including a long-time resident who said he had to move into a van after a series of expensive health-related issues.

“It would be way easier for me if I had a place to park that was safe, so I’m begging you to vote yes,” the resident told the council.