A third safe parking site in Santa Clara County opened in Mountain View, to provide a space where vehicle dwellers can stay safely, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian announced Friday.
The new site provides a 24-hour parking space for up to eight oversized vehicles like recreational vehicles and one passenger vehicle.
"We're making progress," said Simitian, "But it's never enough or fast enough -- we need to maintain a real sense of urgency."
The number of Santa Clara County residents living in cars and RVs has increased in the last five years. In the latest Santa Clara County Homeless Census, 18 percent of unhoused county residents were living in vehicles. In 2015 and 2017, it was nearly 8 percent.
In March, Simitian announced a targeted effort to increase safe parking sites in Mountain View and Palo Alto.
The new site at 1020 Terra Bella Ave. follows two other sites in Mountain View, one on Shoreline and the other on Evelyn Street.
"Mountain View continues to lead the region in helping vulnerable populations," said City of Mountain View Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga. "This allows us to add even more spaces for local people living in vehicles to access services and assistance that will transition families in need to stable housing."
The site was formerly an unfinished and unused residential space that was transformed through a partnership between the county, city of Mountain View and Alta Housing - a nonprofit aimed to provide affordable housing in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.
"We're proud to partner with the City of Mountain View, Santa Clara County, and MOVE Mountain View to provide a safe lot where households living in cars and RVs can find stability while transitioning to permanent housing, especially during this pandemic," said Randy Tsuda, President and CEO of Alta Housing.
All three sites are operated by MOVE Mountain View, local non-profit that aims to alleviate homelessness.
Residents interesting in the program and any of the three sites can register through the Community Services Agency at https://www.csacares.org or by calling (650) 968-0836.