Saturday, February 27, 2010

Who Says Our Politicians Don't Get It? City Passes Law To Allow Residents To Sleep In Cars.

Sometimes it seems like our politicians just don't get it, are not paying attention to the fact that people are unemployed, have been for a long time, their savings are gone, homes are gone, hope is gone.

But just when cynacism creeps up to overwhelm us in despair, a local government shows that they do get it. Kind of. This article from the Ventura County Star:

Ventura program will allow people to legally sleep in cars
By Kevin Clerici

Cash-strapped individuals and families resigned to sleeping illegally in their vehicles in Ventura may soon get some relief.

Starting Monday, people can apply to be part of a pilot program that would allow certain vehicles and qualified participants to legally park overnight in one of two designated church parking lots.

City officials, however, are refusing to reveal the locations of the two lots, even though they have allocated $22,000 in public money for the program.

Applicants must pass a drug test, show proof they have lived in Ventura and possess valid vehicle insurance to be part of the program known as Safe Sleep Ventura, organizers said. The program is the first of its kind in Ventura County.

Under the plan, nonprofit groups and churches will provide three to five lots serving a combined total of no more than 15 vehicles at a time, Finley said.

Ventura lacks a year-round homeless shelter, and currently it’s illegal in Ventura for anyone to sleep in a car for more than four hours on public or private property except in an emergency.

“I think there is going to be more demand than the spots we have,” Finley said.

The purpose of the program, he said, is to provide some stability for people, particularly for those in crisis. A safe, legal place to park without fear of a citation, together with social services and case management provided by the Salvation Army and other local organizations, should help, he said.
Yeah. An apartment and a job would help more.

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