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Encinitas Approves ‘Safe Parking Lot’ For Homeless

Jewish Family Services plans to operate a safe parking lot for people living ...

Credit: 10 News

Above: Jewish Family Services plans to operate a safe parking lot for people living in their vehicles on this Leichtag Foundation's property in northeast Encinitas shown in this undated photo.

The Encinitas City Council voted Tuesday to approve a "safe parking lot" for people who live out of their cars.

It will be the fourth such lot in San Diego County run by Jewish Family Services. The other three lots operated by the nonprofit are in the city of San Diego.

"It's way more than parking. It's truly wrap-around services with one goal to get individuals and families in the parking lot back into housing so it could be everything from employment to working with them in housing navigation, food, a variety of services, mental health services," said Michael Hopkins, CEO of Jewish Family Services.

RELATED: Police Starting To Enforce Law That Prohibits People Living In Their Vehicles

Reported by Priya Sridhar , Video by Andi Dukleth

City Council members voted 4-1 to move forward with the plan to open the lot by the end of the year on the Leichtag Foundation's property in the northeast part of town. It will be a resource for the estimated 350 people who live out of their cars in North County.

The lot will have space for 25 vehicles and be open from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. It will also have bathrooms and security, Hopkins said.

Dozens of Encinitas residents showed up Tuesday to voice their opinions on the plan.

"I don't mind probably getting help for the people, but at that location, I think there's a lot of issues," one man said.

Hopkins said the lots help keep people from falling into the cycle of chronic homelessness.

"When somebody finds themselves homeless and living in their car the good news is they still have their car, they still have an asset, they're still able to go to work, they are still able to access resources," Hopkins said.

Listen to this story by Priya Sridhar.

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