Safe parking program helps people experiencing homelessness who live out of their cars

January 11, 2024
20230208-HOMELESS-SAFE-PARKING-COMMERCE-CITY20230208-HOMELESS-SAFE-PARKING-COMMERCE-CITYHart Van Denburg/CPR News
At a Colorado Safe Parking Initiative site in Commerce City for the unhoused living in their cars in 2023, site manager Michael Meyer handles applications, ensures visitors abide by a set of rules, and keeps the site free of litter.

The issue of homelessness is far from being resolved here in Colorado and is top of mind, especially during the winter months as temperatures plummet. People who don’t have a place to go to stay warm and to rest often end up sleeping in their cars. But finding a safe place to park can be challenging and at times virtually impossible. A program launched in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns got underway is working to change that, but as those COVID relief dollars begin to phase out, program leaders say they’re now struggling to keep their sites open and keep up with ever-growing demand. Terrell Curtis is the executive director of the Colorado Safe Parking Initiative. She updates how it's working, and we revisit our conversation with one of the site managers, Michael Meyer.