The original purpose of the “Safe Parking” program was to be a tool to help the homeless transition from street life to more secure surroundings. Over the past four years New Begininngs has neglected the program’s objective and began catering to those who plan to live permanently in large recreational vehicles. Many safe parking participants feel they have the right to purchase second vehicles or larger motorhomes. Some actually bragged about their “waterfront property”. (Cabrillio) Those new to the city are quickly indoctrinated to this mentality. To restore the true purpose of the program, we (the petitioners) feel it’s the city and county’s responsibility to freeze New Beginnings funding until the following guidelines are met:
1) Restrict the size of recreational vehicles being used for long term parking to an appropriate size for parking on the streets. (MAX 22’ x 9’ x 11’) A moratorium could be granted to those who already own a larger vehicle. After which they must downsize or find a sponsor who will allow them to park on their property. Any participants owning a recreation vehicle must find sponsorship and relinquish their safe parking space after a period of four years.
2) Any participants experiencing drug and alcohol problems must enroll in the appropriate rehabilitation programs.
3) New guidelines must be established regarding how complaints are filed. Those guidelines will include written responses and proper record keeping. These complaints should be reviewed by the appropriate city staff. All meetings between New Beginnings and law enforcement should also be recorded for any necessary review.
4) New Beginnings must incorporate into the program a separate lot for those new to the program. This “indoctrination’ lot should include supervision who could properly mentor participants about the true objective of the program.
5) New Beginnings must incorporate into the program separate locations for those who are gainfully employed.
6) The program must ensure the needs of city residents are met before providing opportunity to those new to town. Any interaction with the media regarding the program must be approved by the appropriate city staff.