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Safe parking program relaunched near San Luis Obispo train station

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Posted at 4:03 PM, Feb 14, 2022

CAPSLO recently relaunched a safe parking program in partnership with the City of San Luis Obispo, giving people living out of their vehicles a place to stay.

It’s located next to the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum where there are 27 spots available for vehicles and RVs to park overnight. It runs seven days a week from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

“I went through Prado,” explained Sandol Wilson. “They have areas there to sleep but it's bright lights and I'm not used to all that for sleeping time so I came up here where they also govern it and this is quieter.”

Wilson has been staying at the railroad parking area since January. The site relaunched in mid-November, accommodating 57 households since.

“Really what this serves as is a safe place for somebody to be able to rest and not feel like they're going to be in danger of being harassed on the street or be ticketed,” said Jack Lahey, CAPSLO Director of Homeless Services.

It’s the second safe parking location within city limits including a site at 40 Prado Homeless Services Center.

This program is currently in a pilot phase that’s expected to last roughly a year.

“This site is really for folks who might not be interested in case management services. They might not be interested in outreach services but they just need a safe place to park their vehicle at night,” Lahey said.

Wilson says it gives her peace of mind to be in a safe spot while she gets back on her feet.

“In this program, in this county, for the next couple of weeks and then I'll be on my way to one of my kids up in Oregon. Stay there for a while and I'll be utilizing the safe parking on the way up,” Wilson said.

The site also has barriers that allow the site to be more secure at night. They’re new additions based on feedback for the relaunch.

Parking check-in at the site is from 6-7 p.m. each night. There is a restroom and handwashing station available. Tents are not permitted at the location.

A San Luis Obispo County-run parking site off Kansas Avenue is currently housing 90 people.