It sounds like a great program. Homeless military veterans who have been sleeping in their cars and risking arrest for violating a new law making it illegal to sleep in your vehicle in a residential area overnight, can now park their vehicles in the VA parking lot and get a good night’s sleep and access to bathrooms.
According to California Radio Station WMOT, “Last month, a non-profit group called Safe Parking L.A. partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer 10 parking stalls for vets to spend the night in their cars. The number could expand if there’s enough demand. A security guard and a portable bathroom with a hand washing station are available on site from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., seven days a week.” Another non-profit group, Village for Vets, had teamed up with Meals on Wheels to bring brown bags of nighttime snacks and breakfast food to the cars.
What better way to help those who have served our country and are down on their luck! Except the new program excludes sex offenders.Other crimes are not checked for – in fact, the individual featured in the WMOT story had served prison time – but sex offenders are.
It’s another scenario where a program intended to help people get back on their feet and become productive members of society, is categorically excluding a class of person whose range of offenses is so broad.
If you have an opinion on this or would like to know why, contact Safe Parking L.A. via phone: 213-793-8493 or email: [email protected] if you email, we encourage you to share your letters here.
*** UPDATE FROM MEMBER: I just got off the phone with The person in charge of the safe parking at the VA. He told me that rso ARE allowed to park there but there is a screening process but they are not stop from parking there!***