California’s Long Beach City College said it will allow homeless students to sleep in their vehicles at the university’s parking garage.
The school announced Monday that its “Safe Parking Program” program is meant to help unhoused students at the university and provide a safe space for them to park overnight.
Enrolled students who are homeless are able to stay at the Pacific Coast Campus parking structure seven nights a week, between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Those students will have access to restrooms and Wi-Fi throughout the night and be able to use the showers at the Pacific Coast Campus during the morning hours.
The “Safe Parking Program” is the only known program of its kind in the region at a community college, the school said.
College District official Mike Muñoz said that close to 70 students sleep in their cars each night.
“If we can help to keep our students safe so they can better focus on their student responsibilities, this program is absolutely worth pursuing,” Muñoz said in the statement. “Our goal at LBCC is always to remove barriers that get in the way of our student’s success.”
The university said it will help homeless students find more long-term, stable housing.
A UCLA study from 2020 found that one out of five California community college students, one out of 10 California State University students and one out of 20 University of California students experience homelessness.
The study also found that K-12 students who experienced homelessness in the state have risen to 50 percent in the last decade.