SAN DIEGO — The safe parking program here in Encinitas has been extended for 3 years.
CBS 8 spoke with people in the neighborhood on Thursday night who say they have concerns, but since it started last October, there have been zero incidents.
"Never had any bad experience at all, I don’t even know it’s going on," said Tomas Girgado.
"You know we can see it from our house, so I wonder at night if there’s stuff going on I really haven’t noticed a whole lot of difference," said Carina Starks.
Residents like Carina Starks and Tomas Girgado lives just across the street from the Encinitas community and senior center, this is where the safe parking is set up. They’re confident that the neighborhood is safe.
"I do think it’s good for them to have a safe space," said Starks.
Encinitas council members voted to extend the time for the program, this parking lot which allows people who live in their cars to park overnight from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. A security guard is on the premise and a max of 25 cars are allowed in per night.
It's funded by state grant money and run by the nonprofit, Jewish family service of San Diego.
According to its website, the people who come to the Safe Parking Program lot each night are provided with basic hygiene needs, meals, and staff are on site throughout the night.
"I think the bigger situation is those not allowed to be on the lot," said Starks.
Space is limited, and people who are experiencing chronic homelessness, or people who are suffering from mental illness or addiction are not getting help here.
Most people who park in the lot have jobs and are homeless for the first time.
Mayor Catherine Blakespear tweeted saying, she’s “proud” of the support from the council for this program, adding it’s helped 154 people in two plus years.
Residents I spoke with say this is a positive step in the right direction.
The Safe Parking Program will continue through June of 2025.
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