PATH Signs on for “Vehicles to Homes” Program

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Bill Rosendahl

From Councilman Rosendahl:

Rosendahl’s “Vehicles to Homes” program moves forward: PATH Will Manage Program to Help Vehicle Dwellers

A long-awaited program to help people living in their vehicles on the Westside is moving forward, Councilman Bill Rosendahl announced today.

People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) signed a contract with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LASHA) last week to operate “Vehicles to Homes,” which will provide services and help find permanent housing for people who have been living in cars and campers in Rosendahl’s 11th District, particularly in Venice.

“We cannot ignore this enormous social problem of people living in their vehicles,” Rosendahl said. “This is the right thing to do, and PATH is the right organization to do it.The PATH staff is seasoned, practical and compassionate. I am confident they will work closely with me, with homeless people, and with the CD11 community to make sure this program works for everyone.”

Rosendahl said the Vehicles to Homes program will identify vehicle residents in his district who need and want help, and will provide them with social services and a safe place to sleep in their vehicles while finding permanent housing.In exchange for agreeing to a code of conduct, program participants will be assigned a public space where they can park legally overnight.

Progress on the Vehicles to Homes program comes as the Los Angeles Department of Transportation begins installing signs making it illegal to park oversized vehicles overnight on certain Venice streets. The parking restrictions, implemented on a block-by-block basis by signature petitions, are a response to neighbors who complained of a proliferation of recreational vehicles, vans, and other oversized vehicles on residential streets.

“These two simultaneous efforts – restricting parking for oversized vehicles, and launching a program to help people find safe, legal parking and eventually a home – are parts of a comprehensive and balanced strategy,” Rosendahl said. “On one hand, we are stepping up enforcement, and on the other hand, we are offering help to those who need it.”

The Vehicles to Homes program is modeled after similar “safe parking” programs in Santa Barbara and Eugene, Oregon. But the Los Angeles version goes a step further by trying to place vehicle dwellers into permanent housing.

“It is not enough to warehouse people in a parking lot,” Rosendahl said. “We need to offer supportive services, and to help people find a place to live. PATH and LAHSA will do just that.”

On Wednesday, the City Council’s Transportation Committee will consider changes to the Los Angeles Municipal Code, clearing the way for implementation of the “safe parking” aspect of the Vehicles to Homes program. The change would exempt people enrolled in the program from the citywide ban on sleeping in a vehicle, and allow them to park overnight in an assigned space in Council District 11.

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