567-thousand, that’s how many Americans were identified as homeless on any single night last year, according to the u-s department of housing and urban development’s annual homeless assessment report.
That’s a nearly 3-percent increase over 2018. Of those, some 60-thousand are right here in Los Angeles.
25-percent of the homeless population lives in their cars. And while that can be cost-effective… Living in a vehicle leaves people without bathrooms and showers, and it’s dangerous.
Beyond that, it’s illegal in some places.
The L.A. city council last year re-instated rules banning people from living in their cars. Under the rules, people cannot spend the night in their cars on residential streets or live in their vehicles at any time within a block of a park, school, preschool or day-care.
Unfortunately, people who are forced to live in their cars still need a place to go.
That’s why– throughout the country– safe parking programs have started popping up. These are parking lots that are “safe” places for the homeless to stay overnight…a place that has a security guard and also provides restrooms.
One of those programs is “Destination Hope,” which is run by an organization, the shower of hope.
Joining us to talk about Destination Hope and how it helps is the program’s executive director Mel Tillekeratne.