Fullerton homeless people living in their cars will at some point be able to legally park and sleep in an area within the city, which mostly prohibits overnight parking, and will have access to bathrooms and homeless services.
“Am I concerned that this will become a magnet, that it will overwhelm what we’re trying to do? Yes I am,” said Councilwoman Jan Flory. But, she added, “The homeless issue has become explosive. Last year at this time the estimate was we probably had 200 homeless (people). Now it’s 50 percent more and we probably have more than that … It’s become a problem that’s become quite unmanageable. So we have to try different things.”
The parking program, which doesn’t have an estimated start date because it still needs a parking lot in Fullerton, will be a six-month pilot program for people whose licenses are registered to an address in the city. The hours will be from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and will also be staffed by security guards and employees from the nonprofit homeless services provider, the Illumination Foundation.
The Fullerton City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday, authorizing City Manager Ken Domer to move forward to become the first city in Orange County with a safe parking program. Councilmembers Jennifer Fitzgerald and Bruce Whitaker dissented.
Although Fitzgerald expressed support for the parking program, she wanted to make it contingent on if U.S. District Judge David Carter would allow the city to enforce its anti-camping laws after 250 temporary shelter beds open at the National Guard armory in Fullerton Oct. 15. Read More