PALO ALTO, Calif. (KRON) – Santa Clara County is expanding its “safe parking” program for people living in their cars. KRON4 spoke to residents about what the expansion means for them.

Marlen Reyes is a mother of two teenage girls. She lives in her RV at the Palo Alto Safe Parking site on Geng Road.

She says her family loves their parking spot, except they have no place to bathe. She told KRON4 that sometimes they need to go to the gym to take a shower.” Reyes’ daughter said, “Sometimes they close early, so we need to get ready fast, so they don’t close before we get there.”

That changed Friday. County funding has allowed the addition of laundry, a children’s library, and most importantly, showers.

Father Brian Leong with local nonprofit Move Mountain View says the upgrade will help save residents money and put them on the right path forward. He tells KRON4, “We’re excited about that because it’s just a part of moving them into permanent housing eventually and services they need to move on with their lives.”

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Father Leong says roughly 40% of the residents have moved into permanent housing over the past four years and more are hoping to do the same. Reyes tells KRON4, “I’m looking for a permanent place, and obviously trying to find a cheap spot.”