The Carpinteria City Council today will consider adopting a resolution for a Safe Parking Pilot program for temporary overnight vehicle parking on public property in the city for homeless drivers who are living in and out of their vehicles.
The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. in chambers, 5775 Carpinteria Ave.
Staff is recommending the council approve a resolution establishing administrative procedures for the program, and authorizing the city manager to enter into an operating agreement with New Beginnings Counseling Center in an amount not exceeding $94,000 and allocating a FY 2022-23 budget amount of $32,000.
“The city and other local agencies annually expend significant resources responding to issues resulting from homelessness and working to connect people experiencing homelessness to resources; most importantly, housing resources,” staff said in its report to the council.
The city collaborates with various agencies and groups to respond to the needs of people experiencing homelessness that live in Carpinteria.
These collaborations include street outreach work conducted by County Public Health and Behavioral Wellness, CityNet and Good Samaritan, community volunteers who work alongside City Code Compliance and Law Enforcement staff, and policy/program level work to acquire funding and organizational capacity to deliver programs that prioritize meeting housing needs, including related support services. This work also includes strategic planning to address homelessness in the region.
ln 2019, the city of Carpinteria, along with other Santa Barbara County cities and the County, approved the Phase ll Community Action Plan to Address Homelessness in Santa Barbara County.
“In recent past years, as a part of an Annual Report to the City Council on Homelessness, city staff have reported that, anecdotally, the number of persons homeless and living out of vehicles in Carpinteria has been rising,” staff said.
“Based on these observations and also complaints received by the city about people living in vehicles on public parking lots and streets, the council requested an opportunity to receive information about the New Beginnings Safe Parking Program.”
On March 22, 2021, the council received a presentation, and directed that staff work with New Beginnings to find a suitable location(s) to operate the program in Carpinteria, and to identify suitable location(s) for 24-hour public restrooms.
City staff subsequently determined that in order to implement the direction provided by the council for identifying suitable locations to operate the Safe Parking Program, local administrative procedures and/or regulations would be required.
At its regular meeting of Aug. 8, 2022, the council received a report on options for proceeding with a Safe Parking Program, including how the program is being operated by New Beginnings in other Santa Barbara County jurisdictions. The council directed that, in part, administrative procedures and an operating agreement be prepared in support of the establishment of a two-year pilot program.
“The purpose of this agenda matter is to provide the City Council an opportunity to establish a Safe Parking Pilot Program for temporary overnight vehicle parking on public property in the City of Carpinteria,” staff said.
The New Beginnings Safe Parking Program has been successful in addressing the need for a safe place to sleep at night for people who are homeless and living out of their vehicle, as well as coordinating with the Coordinated Entry System in Santa Barbara County.
New Beginnings operates Safe Parking Programs in the Cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta and Lompoc, and in parts of unincorporated Santa Barbara County.
The program structure includes:
- Spaces made available at each lot range from five to 10.
- Participants enter lots after 7 p.m. and leave by 7 a.m.
- Driver’s licenses, registration and insurance required.
- People assigned to lots based on lot and vehicle type and needs.
- Program is first come, first served with a waiting list.
- Parking only, no gathering in lots.
- Bathrooms either available or are provided via porta-potties.
- Trash, pet waste, loud music and cooking outside are examples of activities not tolerated.
- Participants are prohibited from parking within three blocks of a lot during the day.
- Lots are monitored by roving New Beginning employees throughout night and morning.
- Monitors provide support to participants in numerous ways.
- A monthly monitoring report is provided to the city.
- Each participant is required to renew their permit and review/update their housing plan monthly.
Adopting the resolution would establish the Safe Parking Pilot Program for a two-year term beginning once a lot is approved and operating.
“Establishment of a Safe Parking Pilot Program as a part of the city’s response to homelessness in Carpinteria can be found consistent with the city’s interest in promoting public health and safety,” staff said.
In other business, staff is recommending the council approve a consultant services agreement between the city and Equity Praxis Group for assistance with the city’s racial, equity and social justice program for an amount not exceeding $108,202.
On June 8, 2020, the council adopted a resolution committing the city to collaborate with law enforcement to further community-oriented policing, build trust with the community and ensure the safety of all community members; review and revise city policies to incorporate anti-racist policies into city government and ensure the equitable distribution of resources and public services; and collaborate with, support and amplify minority-owned businesses, community groups and nonprofit organizations within the city and broader community.
The council later formed an ad hoc racial equity and social justice program planning committee tasked with researching and recommending to the council a consultant to assist the city with implementing its resolution; working with the consultant to develop a process, schedule and budget for this work; and further defining the role of a subsequent committee consisting of councilmembers and community stakeholders.
The Equity Praxis Group has submitted a proposal that meets the needs of the city for support in developing and carrying out a Racial Equity and Social Justice program, staff said. Equity Praxis Group describes itself as a mission-driven consulting practice supporting organizations, communities and individual leaders in fostering diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice. The group has a team of 12 consultants, researchers and facilitators with a combined experience of more than 500 years in the fields of diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice.