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San Luis Obispo to close safe parking site and transition to new rotating parking program

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Posted at 6:03 PM, Jul 31, 2023

The City of San Luis Obispo is closing the current safe parking site at Railroad Square and transitioning to a new rotating safe parking program.

The safe parking program, funded by the City of San Luis Obispo and managed by CAPSLO, is aimed at providing a safe space for the unhoused to park overnight.

“They don't have to be worried about police knocking on their windows, being ticketed, pushing them further towards instability,” said Nathan Rubinoff, CAPSLO City Outreach Coordinator.

The Railroad Square site offered 20 parking spots for cars or RVs. Those spots often fill up overnight.

The pilot program connected 37 individuals or households with permanent housing, reunited nine people with their families, and helped five others find jobs.

“They're living out of their vehicles. They need time to find that stability, to find a new job, to put themselves on an affordable housing list, find publicly funded housing projects and this site offers that stability so they can get back on their feet into housing stability,” Rubinoff said.

City officials are actively seeking locations to participate in the rotational program in order to expand it. They said the new program would include rotating parking lots monthly.

The goal is to have 12 locations, following similar models in Fremont, Goleta, and Santa Barbara.

Rubinoff said CAPSLO offers case management at the safe parking sites.

“We act as an access point to a whole network of community resources that people might not have even known existed,” he said.

The location also had a portable restroom, wash station, and dumpster on site. The city plans to continue providing those at each new location.

The Railroad Square site is set to close on August 27.

Those interested in hosting a safe parking site for a month in San Luis Obispo can contact for more information.