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Finding Safe Places For Homeless To Park

Venice Beach (City of LA) is the latest community to restrict overnight parking of vehicle-dwelling homeless residents, including those living in RVs. It's a growing problem, especially in areas with inviting climates and tolerant political attitude
October 6, 2010, 9am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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The overnight vehicle dweller have become more of an issue since the area has gentrified. And the August incident when an RV dweller dumped sewage into the streets resulting in the hazardous material crew to be called didn't help matters either.

"The Venice section of Los Angeles has become the latest California community to enact strict new regulations limiting street parking and banning R.V.'s from beach lots. As nearby neighborhoods and municipalities passed laws restricting overnight parking in recent years, Venice became the center of vehicle dwelling in the region.

A bitter debate has raged between residents who want to get rid of R.V.'s and those who want to combat the problems of homelessness in the community by offering safe places to park and access to public bathrooms. Last year, residents voted to establish overnight parking restrictions, but the California Coastal Commission twice vetoed the plan.

While City Councilman Bill Rosendahl supported parking restrictions, he has also secured $750,000 from the city to pay for a pilot program to house R.V.-dwellers. Modeled after efforts in Santa Barbara and Eugene, Ore., the Vehicles to Homes program will offer overnight parking for vehicle-dwellers who agree to meet certain conditions, with the goal of moving participants into permanent housing."

Full Story:
Published on Monday, October 4, 2010 in The New York Times - U.S.
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