The night I met Conrad, it was the second night that he slept in his car. Luckily, Safe Parking LA has a lot on the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Campus.
Conrad told me that he tried to stay with family, but it continued to be a challenge. He said sleeping in his car was the better option. Plus, being right on the VA campus provided easy access to the services he needs.
Conrad fought for this country, and now he is fighting bureaucracy just to survive. Conrad did three tours of Iraq. Because of an address change mixup, the Veterans Administration cut his disability benefits. If Conrad didn’t have a vehicle, he’d be out on the streets homeless.
Safe Parking LA provides a safe place for mobile homeless to park at night. The folks behind Safe Parking LA told me they have been pitching the concept to Los Angeles County politicians for five years but only now is it being adopted.
If Los Angeles is ever going to end homelessness the stakeholders that make the decisions need to think outside the box and be open to new ideas that will help save lives and reduce costs. It’s fantastic that LA County is now approving safe parking locations, but they should have been implemented when the concept was first presented.
Please help support safe parking programs in your community. If you’d like to support Safe Parking LA here is the link to their website.