"Safe Parking" area in Mission Valley
The “Safe Parking” area near SDCCU Stadium in Mission Valley. Courtesy of the city

City officials and Jewish Family Service of San Diego have officially opened an overnight parking lot near SDCCU stadium for homeless individuals living in their RVs.

It’s the third of three overnight “Safe Parking” areas managed by Jewish Family Service in partnership with the city. The new stadium lot and the earlier lots at the nonprofit’s headquarters in Kearny Mesa and at a city lot on Aero Drive are open from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. and can accommodate more than 300 individuals and families.

“The Safe Parking Program helps those individuals find a stable place to stay while they access services, look for a job and, ultimately, find a permanent place to call home. San Diegans are a compassionate people, and this will give those down on their luck a chance to get back on their feet,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer in announcing plans for the lot at Friars Road and Mission Village Drive in April.

The program is open to San Diegans who are living in their vehicles and willing to work toward securing permanent housing. Funding comes from the City of San Diego, a State of California grant and community donors.

Vehicles may enter the lot between 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., and all must leave by 7 a.m. every morning.

Jewish Family Service’s team of social workers provides assistance to the individuals and families involved, including food. emergency support, benefits access and help with locating and paying for permanent housing.

“Our goal is always to holistically help clients, so that they can get back on their feet and into a home. This may include providing them access to food, transportation, benefits assistance and much more. We strive to help all San Diegans move their lives forward,” said Michael Hopkins, CEO of Jewish Family Service.

For more information or to donate goods, services or funds to the Safe Parking program, visit www.jfssd.org/safeparking.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.