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Neighbors for Home

Safe Parking LA, a Project of Community Partners

A fiscally sponsored group

Safe Parking LA seeks support for Neighbors for Home, a grassroots community engagement initiative that mobilizes local residents to act around the problem of vehicular homelessness in their own neighborhoods. In partnership with LA’s Neighborhood Councils, lot partners, and other local groups, SPaLA will activate a series of volunteer opportunities to support organizational capacity, promote positive interactions with people who live in their vehicles, and build change-making communities dedicated to solving the problem of homelessness.



Has your proposal changed due to COVID-19?

While our capacity has been challenged by the COVID-19 Pandemic, Safe Parking LA will activate a series of grassroots volunteer opportunities as planned. In response to the current landscape, Neighbors for Home activities will move forward as follows:

Unchanged

  • Hire Volunteer Personnel
  • Develop Volunteer Toolkit

Modified

  • Volunteer Outreach, Training, and Engagement conducted virtually
  • Client Outreach conducted digitally
  • Supportive Services (i.e., community dinners) provided using a drop-off model
  • Personal Hygiene Kits and PPE added to the list of supportive services (drop-off opportunities)
  • Website developed to support enhanced digital/virtual Community Engagement

Suspended

  • Volunteer On-site Lot Coordination & Support
  • Volunteer Mentorship

Safe Parking LA is sensitive to the individual circumstances of our Neighbors for Home partners at this time. The current climate has led to the suspension of in-person meetings and caused organizations to shift their focus. We will work with partners as they are willing and available while shifting our focus to building a stronger community engagement infrastructure and developing a neighborhood volunteer community through networking and digital outreach.

Safe Parking LA is resilient. While our scope, timeline and outcomes will change, we are committed to developing an innovative community engagement model to address the problem of homelessness in LA’s neighborhoods and power our vision of an LA2050 without vehicular homelessness.

Please describe the mission of your organization.

Safe Parking LA (SPaLA), a project of Community Partners, supports people who are homeless and living in their vehicles by providing them with a safe place to park at night and connecting them with the supportive services and community programs they need to thrive.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Pilot project or new program

Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

  • Palms Neighborhood Council
  • Del Rey Neighborhood Council
  • United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council
  • Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

While Safe Parking LA will be the sole administrator, we have already engaged four Neighborhood Councils to participate in the pilot project including the Palms Neighborhood Council, Del Rey Council, United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council, and Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council, exceeding our goal in case one partner backs out. We will operate in communication with Empower LA, the local agency that empowers Angelenos through civic engagement and community advocacy via the Neighborhood Council system. Councils and other local groups will participate by inviting their membership to volunteer with their local safe lot and partner with Safe Parking LA in our effort to stabilize people living in their vehicles and support their journey out of homelessness.

What is the need you’re responding to?

According to the LA Homeless Services Authority, more than 25% of the 58,936 homeless people in Los Angeles live in their vehicles. The problem is worsened by the shortage of legal and safe places to park overnight. While Los Angeles taxpayers and local government have stepped up to support local homelessness initiatives that are making a big difference, Safe Parking LA believes that full transformation is rooted in long-term, community-based solutions.

About 15% of Safe Parking LA’s clients are employed full-time while still living in their vehicles, and 55% are working part-time or seeking employment. Most have low acuity scores (VI-SPIDAT) and are less vulnerable to further decline, making them ineligible for public programs like Rapid Rehousing and Flexible Funds. Changing the landscape for people living in their vehicles requires a unique approach pairing specialized case management with community support otherwise unavailable to safe parking clients.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

Safe Parking LA is the largest safe parking program in LA, operating ten lots in the County. Working alongside our client services program, an innovative community engagement model has the power to help solve LA’s homeless crisis.

From inception, Safe Parking LA has partnered with key community leaders, including LA City and LA County, to secure funding, support existing infrastructure, and meet the community need. Lot partners include the LA County Dept. of Public Health, LA City General Svcs. Admin., LA Public Library, Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Beit T’Shuvah, IKAR, and St. Mary’s Church.

Safe Parking LA has already engaged members of several faith-based groups in lot coordination and other services. Some lot partners have provided supportive volunteer services to SPaLA clients on their property. In 2019, we hosted the first-ever National Safe Parking Conference with idea partner Leo Baeck Temple to share best practices, positioning us as a leader in the safe parking movement.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

100
Direct impact
300
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

In its pilot year, Neighbors for Home will connect three Neighborhood Councils, 45 council members, and their constituencies to their local safe lots for service to people experiencing vehicular homelessness. We will train at least 100 local volunteers to support lot coordination, client outreach, supportive services, and mentorship. Volunteers will help more than 300 people experiencing vehicular homelessness in their own neighborhoods. To realize our vision of an LA2050 without vehicular homelessness, Safe Parking LA seeks to engage all 99 of LA’s Neighborhood Councils in Neighbors for Home over time. Through our work with Neighborhood Councils and other community partners, we will build a volunteer army to support change.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Safe Parking LA will be successful when hire a Neighborhood Volunteer Coordinator and engage local volunteers in:

  • Supported On-site Lot Coordination: Volunteers welcome safe parking clients, collect basic information, and provide social engagement at lots.
  • Supported Client Outreach: Volunteers help connect prospective clients to safe parking and local resources.
  • Supportive Services: Volunteers provide services including dinners for safe parking clients.
  • Supported Mentorship: Volunteers mentor safe parking clients to support education, training, work, and more.
  • Training: Volunteers will get the tools they need to be effective in their service with extensive support from Safe Parking LA’s expert staff throughout the volunteer experience.

Success will be measured using the following benchmarks:

  • Three active Neighborhood Council partnerships established.
  • Volunteer toolkit completed and utilized with in-person training and ongoing engagement.
  • On-site lot coordination yields two volunteers per night per lot.
  • Client outreach yields at least two volunteers ongoing per lot.
  • Supportive Services yields weekly community dinners per lot.
  • Mentorship yields at least two pilot mentor-client partnerships per lot.

By introducing a new community engagement project to our innovative safe parking model, Safe Parking LA and LA2050 will be partners in change, powering our vision of an LA2050 without vehicular homelessness.

Which of the live metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Homelessness

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Host public events or gatherings
  • Communications support
  • Capacity, including staff
  • Strategy assistance and implementation

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