Last month, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners approved a Safe Parking site near LAX. This parking lot on La Cienega Boulevard and 111th Street will now be a site for unhoused Angelenos to sleep safely. The board approved the site unanimously, marking the first time an airport has been approved to participate in this kind of program.
The Safe Parking program aims to give people who live in their vehicles a safe, legal space to park overnight. Many places where unhoused people would otherwise park are unsafe for those purposes. They’d park in areas like under freeway overpasses or in industrial areas. Other, safer areas to park are often illegal to park overnight or for the long term. Therefore, programs like Safe Parking cropped up to provide safe spaces for people to park.
Angelenos who live in their cars will have a level of stability that few unhoused people will have thanks to this new parking lot. They’ll know that they have a place they can go every night with restrooms and trash services. The lot will have management and security present, too. This stability will certainly help people get back on their feet.
Safe Parking provides another lot for the unhoused.
Safe Parking has worked since 2017 to provide places to park for people living out of their cars throughout LA. While unhoused populations are hard to estimate, there are likely as many as 20,000 people in Los Angeles County living out of their cars. This parking lot will only help around 50 of them, but it’s a start.
This parking lot is actually the first of its kind across the country. Never before has an airport received approval to participate in a program like this for the unhoused. Many people have concerns about these kinds of programs when they’re set up near residential areas, so airports could be the perfect places for them going forward. Hopefully, airports across the country will see how well this program works and get inspired to implement similar programs.