about us

Ending homelessness is about creating pathways to stable housing.

Founded in 2017, Safe Parking LA was inspired by the New Beginnings safe parking program in Santa Barbara, CA. Prior to 2014, it was illegal to reside in a vehicle in Los Angeles. Once the laws changed, co-founders Pat and Ira Cohen, and Scott Sale MD, met with city officials to provide education and build a team of advocates. With help from local government and a fundraising plan in place, Safe Parking LA was born. Safe Parking LA is a project of Community Partners, a nonprofit fiscal sponsor and intermediary organization since 1992.

Since opening our first parking lot in Koreatown in 2017, Safe Parking LA has received over 6,000  online inquiries and permitted over 2,000  vehicles for safe parking to date. In just 4 years, Safe Parking LA has become the largest safe parking program in Los Angeles. We currently operate 10 safe parking lots in LA County with the capacity to park 209 vehicles each night.

View the Safe Parking LA End of Year Report, 2021.

mission

Safe Parking LA provides safe overnight parking to facilitate stability and housing in Los Angeles County for individuals living in their vehicles, and advocates for fair and equitable treatment and resources for the unhoused.

vision

Individuals and families living in their vehicles will have an expedited path to housing through a system that opens doors.

values

  • We strive for connection with others
  • We support individual choice
  • We treat people with dignity, respect, and compassion
  • We act with urgency to make an impact

who we are

innovative solutions

Safe Parking LA employs underutilized parking lots to address the unique needs of residents whose only source of shelter is their vehicle. In addition to a parking spot at night, our lots offer restrooms with running water, professional security, access to local resources, and housing-focused case management services.

the need is critical

In 2020, over 25% of LA County’s homeless population of 66,436 lives in their vehicles, a 12.7% increase from the previous year’s count. Safe Parking LA’s core program bridges a gap in services by employing underutilized parking lots to address the unique needs of residents whose only source of shelter is their vehicle.

A January 2021 report from the Economic Roundtable predicts that massive job losses caused by the pandemic will leave tens of thousands of low-wage American workers without homes over the next 3 years, and the number of additional working-age adults who are homeless will reach more than 52,000 in LA County, nearly doubling by 2024.

The need for effective solutions to the problem of vehicular homelessness in Los Angeles is critical. In an environment where public resources are limited for people who live in their vehicles, local government relies on organizations like Safe Parking LA for help.

DEI statement

Safe Parking LA is committed to aligning our mission, vision, and values in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Safe Parking LA is rooted in our dedication to deliver services with dignity, respect, and compassion. It is the policy of Safe Parking LA to value and uplift all identities, characteristics, perspectives, and lived experiences.

View Safe Parking LA’s Strategic Plan.