According to the most recent counts by the KPCC, there are at least 7,000 people live in their cars in Los Angeles.
Many of these people still maintain jobs and try to live the most fulfilled lives that they can, but they are constantly facing problems from authorities.
It is such a common issue that many churches have opened up their parking lots to people living out of their cars. For example, the New Beginnings Counseling Center opened up their parking lot for a “Safe Parking program,” which was intended to provide a safe and welcome parking place for people living out of their cars. Unfortunately, under new legislation passed in Los Angeles, programs like this will be illegal, because sleeping in cars and RVs have been entirely outlawed.
Under the new laws, it is illegal to sleep in a car or RV that is parked in a residentially zoned area from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Areas within one block of a park, daycare, or school are entirely off limits. Fines will range anywhere from $25 to $75 which is impossible to pay for most people in these situations.
In 2014, LA lawmakers attempted to pass a similar bill but it was shot down in a federal appeals court. The judge in the case ruled that the legislation was “broad enough to cover any driver in Los Angeles who eats food or transports personal belongings in his or her vehicle. Yet it appears to be applied only to the homeless.”
The policy is up for debate and reconsideration in July, where homeless advocates are expected to strongly protest for an appeal.
Policies like this can have disastrous consequences, in Canada where laws like this have been implemented for some time, one man racked up over $110,000 worth of fines for essentially being homeless.
Last year, The Mind Unleashed reported that the city of Seattle was planning to set up razor-wire fencing to keep homeless populations from camping. Then, earlier this year we reported that San Francisco was using robots to scare homeless people away from encampments and report them to police.
Not soon after that, the city of San Francisco spent $8,700 installing large boulders under overpasses to prevent homeless people from setting up camps. There were numerous homeless encampments in the area until they were recently forced out of the area, and now the City’s government is doing everything they can to keep the camps out of the area.