homeless safe parking lot edendale library echo park jesus sanchez 1-30-2020 10-15-25 PM.JPG

Officials expect more homeless residents to start using the 14-space Safe Parking lot in Echo Park.

Echo Park -- The Safe Parking Program that allows people who live in their vehicles to park overnight in secure parking lots has expanded to Echo Park after the idea was first proposed about 18 months ago.

The location in the parking lot of the Edendale branch library will provide 14 spaces from 8:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. every day of the week. It's open only to those who have completed an application and agree to follow rules governing the sites.

"With this newly opened site in Echo Park, we are carrying out the mission to provide services and support to the unhoused in our neighborhoods," said Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell in a statement issued last week announcing the launch of the Echo Park Safe Parking site.

Security staff will also be on site during operating hours. Services will be provided by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority through the safe parking operator.

Restroom facilities and washing stations will be serviced on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, including some holidays. Trash receptacles will also be serviced.

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A visit to the Echo Park lot early Sunday night found only two vehicles in the library parking lot, one of them which belonged to the security guard assigned to the site.

But use of the safe parking lot is expected to grow, said Tony Arranaga, spokesman for Council District 13.

"The Safe Parking LA operators are ramping up the service, so we can expect to see the spaces filled as the days progress," he said.

LAHSA is overseeing the program with the assistance of nonprofit service providers to help transition clients to permanent housing, employment, training and connection to the Coordinated Entry System, which puts them in line for housing.

People who could benefit from safe parking or would like to apply can call 323-210-3375 or visit www.safeparkingla.org.

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