Community in Crisis

Proposal would turn SF parking lot into space for homeless living in cars


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — There’s a proposal to temporarily turn a city owned parking lot into a safe place for homeless people living in vehicles.

You can get a sense of the problem driving in certain areas of San Francisco, where RV’s  being used as homes by the homeless are lined up on the streets.  

According to the recent homeless count, there’s been a steep spike of them in the city — a 17 percent rise in homelessness citywide but 68 percent of that increase was people living in vehicles 

Supervisor Ahsha Safai says he’s been hearing complaints from his district for the past two years.

“People are next to my house, these vehicles are maxed my house,” Safai said. “We’re seeing more trash, we’re seeing more illegal dumping.”

So he’s proposing to turn an old parking lot across from the Balboa BART station into a place for about 30 homeless vehicles. 

“You will not be allowed to come in here and less you’ve been screened and referred by the department of homelessness and supportive housing,” he said. “They are going to begin with those in our district, in this neighborhood first.”

What’s being called a Vehicle Triage Center will have security guards, bathrooms and on site staff to help coordinate social services for the people staying here who will be allowed to park there for 90 days as they wait to be transitioned into permanent housing.

KRON4’s Maureen Kelly found Jose Medrano living out of his truck parked up the street.  

It’s been his home for two years. 

He says he’d love a safe place to park with a place to wash up and called having the opportunity of having someone help him find a permanent place to live and answer to his prayers.

But this is just a temporary solution, as this lot is slated to become affordable housing breaking ground in the fall of next year.

That has some neighbors just hearing about the proposal feeling a little less worried about the impact.

Neighbors will have an opportunity to hear about the proposed plan and voice their opinions at a community meeting set for this Saturday at Balboa High School.

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