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    An Analysis of Safe Parking Programs: Identifying Program Features and Outcomes of an Emerging Homelessness Intervention

    Housing Policy Debate

    Year: 2024

    As vehicular homelessness increases in the United States, safe parking programs have proliferated. Yet little research exists on this emerging homelessness intervention. This three-year, mixed-methods study analyzed one of the largest safe parking programs in operation: the Jewish Family Service of San Diego Safe Parking Program (JFS SPP). Through analysis of quantitative data and interviews with 349 clients and 15 staff, this study yielded three major findings. First, JFS SPP has a 40% positive exit rate, with younger clients, women, veterans, and families more likely to exit into housing. Second, JFS SPP is preferred over shelters by persons who have used both services. This preference is especially important for older clients and clients with disabilities for whom safe parking is a safety net. Finally, increasing access to lots and services would benefit all clients, including families, seniors, and individuals with nontraditional schedules. Findings support policy recommendations for safe parking programs.

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