Supervisor Ahsha Safai Calls For Hearing About Safe Parking Lot Pilot Program

INGLESIDE, San Francisco — District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai Tuesday called for a hearing at the Board of Supervisors meeting to discuss the outcome of the city’s first Safe Parking Lot for people living in their vehicles. 

The first site opened in his district on the Upper Yard parking lot beside the Balboa Park Station in December 2019 as a pilot program. It is scheduled to be closed in March for the building of an affordable housing development.

“We want to take a look at what has been successful, what has worked and what has been some positive outcomes of this,” Safai said. He was sworn in for a second term as supervisor on Jan. 8.

The parking lot is currently serving a total of 35 people from 22 households living in RVs or vehicles, he said. Officials focused on serving vehicle dwellers in Safai’s district and in surrounding districts.

Safai said four households from District 7, two from District 9, eight from his district and eight from District 10 were getting services at the parking lot.

“In total, 39 people since the beginning of this program from 12 households have transitioned into permanent housing and we’re very, very proud of that,” Safai said.

A number of services were provided to households living on the lot, including basic services, such as showers, restrooms and city services to ultimately move towards permanent housing. The nonprofit organization, Urban Alchemy, managed the site.

The site had security around the clock to ensure households were able to park their vehicles safely without having to worry about break-ins. 

Safai along with former Supervisor Vallie Brown brought legislation to the board to open the city’s first Safe Parking Lot. Mayor London Breed allocated $1 million to fund the pilot. 

He wants the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, the Department of Public Health and several other city departments to report back on the results of the pilot program.

“We have to find a way to take this program citywide,” Safai said. “This is not a district specific issue. This is something that’s touching many parts of San Francisco.”

Additionally, he wants communities involved with the pilot program to share their thoughts at the hearing. 

“We want to have the opportunity to talk about the positive impact that this has had and how we can take these lessons citywide,” Safai said.

Safai’s office said a hearing date has been set yet.