The San Jose City Council unanimously approved a pilot program to allow homeless families with young children to park overnight in a community center lot.
Famiiles may start staying overnight at the Seven Trees Community Center parking lot as early as Nov. 1. The pilot program will start with five families.
More than 4,000 people are living on the streets in San Jose. The city says more than a hundred are families with young children who do not have a safe place to sleep at night.
Some who use the Seven Trees Community Center in East San Jose have concerns about the pilot program and crime.
"As long as it is in a controlled environment and there is security, I think it might be OK," San Jose resident George Witzel said. "But I've had friends who have had their cars broken into in this lot and we don't want that to happen."
The program, run by Life Moves, will cost $250,000 to operate for nine months. Families will be allowed to stay in their cars from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
"This program is focused on families with children under 5 who are working," said Ragan Henninger, San Jose deputy director of housing.
The hope is in a few months the program will expand to allow 17 families to stay overnight.
"We know we have a lot more work to do to house the homeless, but this is a program that is quick to get up and running," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said. "And we hope to expand it to other community centers."
Liccardo said the city is already looking at the Bascom Community Center as another potential site for a safe parking program.