Rep. Carbajal Introduces Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act

Source: Office of Rep. Salud Carbajal

[Last week], Congressman Salud Carbajal held a press conference to announce the introduction of the bipartisan Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act. The bipartisan bill establishes a grant program for cities and local governments to utilize in order to establish a safe parking program, or expand an existing program, for community members experiencing homelessness. The bill was formally introduced today and full bill text can be found here.

While the pandemic has exacerbated income inequality, housing costs in California and across the country have continued to rise. Vehicle residency is one of the fastest-growing forms of homelessness and estimates show that about a quarter of homeless individuals in Los Angeles are living out of their vehicles. While cars, trucks, and RVs can be cost-effective alternatives in places with some of the nation’s steepest rents, sleeping in a vehicle on most city streets is illegal and often leaves those experiencing vehicular homelessness vulnerable to harassment and violence.

Safe parking programs provide homeless persons living in their vehicles with a safe place to park their vehicles overnight and offer resources to assist with the transition to more stable housing. The very first safe parking program in the country was established in Santa Barbara in 2004 in former County Supervisor Naomi Schwartz’s district, who the bill is named after to honor her role as an original champion of the program. Safe parking programs have now spread across the country, but there remains limited federal funds to run the operational costs associated with the program. 

The Naomi Schwartz Safe Parking Program Act of 2021 establishes five-year grants through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for cities and local governments to apply for up to $5 million dollars to establish or expand existing safe parking programs. Grants may be used for:

  • Establishing and operating safe parking programs.
  • Providing permanent rehousing assistance to families using the safe parking program.
  • Employing staff who maintain the safety and health of participants.
  • Establishing and maintaining the operation of hygiene facilities and restrooms for homeless persons.
  • Maintaining the vehicles of homeless persons using a safe parking program and providing gas for such persons to use their vehicles to drive to places that will help them obtain or maintain housing.
  • Entering data into the HUD’s Homeless Management Information System.

Safe parking programs must provide services to facilitate transition to more stable housing for participants. Additionally, if an eligible entity determines that a safe parking program is no longer necessary, such eligible entity may, after approval from the Secretary HUD, use any amounts provided under this section for activities that are eligible for the use of the emergency solutions grant program. After the second and fifth year of the program, the bill requires the Secretary to include a report to Congress on the impact of the grants.


Written by Anonymous

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  1. 5:36 – Don’t waste your time with CW. He’s not concerned at all about the safety of those who are worse off than him. If it “costs” him any of his precious taxes and his a “socialist” program, he will cry and moan like a child about how awful California is.

  2. I went onto the Congressman’s government website to find his contact info not long ago. I had wanted to ask him to explain his vote on a particular matter. I found phone numbers for both his local office and his DC office. I called both numbers but neither one had a live person, so I left polite messages. In my message I requested to have the congressman call me back. I left my phone number. That was three weeks ago.
    What’s the point of the congressman having a phone number and an answering machine message (that requests the caller leave a detailed but brief message with my contact info) if the congressman doesn’t respond to the caller?
    If he is too busy to talk to his constituents then why provide a phone number at all?
    I’ve never thought of calling Oprah or Rob Lowe, but I’m assuming their phone number is unlisted because they don’t want me to call them. That’s fine with me.
    But if you are a government employee who is getting paid by tax dollars and you have a phone number, it seems reasonable to expect a return call. Maybe the congressman is too busy, but doesn’t he have staff who could respond on his behalf?
    Ive never called a politician before. I was Very disappointed in the congressman’s poor communication.

  3. Curious how many homeless migrants you have seen on our streets? The homeless starting fires, committing crime, drinking in parks & living in encampments seem to be mostly white men. I don’t know how many immigrants are homeless but I suspect the numbers are low.

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