Palo Alto Approves Safe Parking Program to Help Homelessness

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Palo Alto city leaders on Monday night voted for a "safe parking" pilot program, with the idea that it could address the city’s homelessness issue, which has grown over the years.

The safe parking program would connect homeless people with services, falling in line with Gov. Gavin Newsom's homelessness plan.

The City Council voted unanimously in favor of the program, which will start with four parking locations at participating church parking lots before eventually moving to private commercial and city-owned lots.

Similar to other cities' programs along the Peninsula, Palo Alto wants to connect people with case management services and ultimately get them into permanent housing.

Newsom recently proposed spending more than $1 billion to tackle the statewide homelessness problem, opening more shelters and providing more services and emergency housing. The governor this week began touring some of the hardest hit areas of California.

An advisory council appointed by Newsom wants voters to consider a mandate to end homelessness. The governor has yet to adopt that recommendation.

His tour is expected in the Bay Area some time this week.

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