Homeless living in cars provided safe parking at old Kmart parking lot

Homelessness is a problem around the country and includes entire families living out of cars, trucks, vans and RVs.

Driving down Main Street in Bishop, you might have noticed some activity taking place in the parking lot in front of the old Kmart building. What you are witnessing is Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action (IMACA), with a supporting role played by Inyo County Health and Human Services, providing a suitable place to implement its Safe Parking Project for homeless people living out of their cars, trucks and vans.

The Safe Parking Project is the result of Governor Gavin Newsom’s March 19 executive order requiring counties and cities to provide suitable shelter for the state’s homeless population during the coronavirus pandemic.

Portable toilets and sanitation stations have been placed on the site to make sure that those staying there are following the recommended sanitation guidelines issued by the California Department of Public Health.

Single moms with children are not uncommon with the homeless population.

The current parking situation is only temporary until the county can find a long-term solution. The current lease on the Kmart parking lot expires when the state of emergency is lifted by the county’s Public Health Officer, Jim Richardson.

IMACA’s Housing and Planning Director, Larry Emerson, told Sierra Wave that the homeless using the old Kmart parking lot are expected to stay there unless performing essential business, i.e. shopping, medical appointments, etc. The first night they only had 1 RV, 2 people.

Dogs provide a lot of comfort for those sheltering in place, as well as the homeless.

Staff from IMACA and the county’s Probation Department have been staffing the parking lot. So far there have not been a lot of takers. The homeless are often spread out through the area and it can be difficult to communicate with them, but Emerson feels that the word will eventually get out to them and hopefully they will take advantage of  the offer to have a safe place to park overnight.

 

, , , , , ,

17 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Indygal
Indygal
2 years ago

I was just there today. Walmart allows RV’s to stay in their lot, so what’s the big deal? Compassion is a graceful stance to take. Let’s keep it up!

Liberty
Liberty
2 years ago

The problem I see, in this article, are pictures of small kids living in a car and I don’t know if this is local or stock pics. I also read they are putting them in a parking lot at the old K-mart and we all know temps can go way… Read more »

David Dennison
David Dennison
2 years ago
Reply to  Liberty

Liberty I see what your saying,but I doubt those photos of homeless women and children in vehicles are local photos,maybe Charles James can help with that one. When I did my re-location,for the most part,I obeyed all the laws of the land. Almost two weeks stranded in an abandoned campground… Read more »

David Dennison
David Dennison
2 years ago

Liberty Granted,there was no pandemic at the time,but you could probably say I was in a homeless situation back in 2000,when I relocated to the Owens Valley from Oregon,living in a truck or tent,at times a bad situation taking 43 days to drive 1000 miles,what with the truck breaking down… Read more »

Liberty
Liberty
2 years ago

Some areas, in bigger cities, are providing hotel rooms and trailers, might be a good idea to re-locate people to where these services are provided. Small rural counties don’t have the same resources and should help them go to these services.

Mono Person
Mono Person
2 years ago
Reply to  Liberty

I own small motels, and I had some homeless “guests” paid for by the sheriffs dept. These people trashed my rooms, smoked in them, and were disrespectful to my staff. When I asked to be reimbursed just $100 for the smoking, the sheriffs dept. said no. I will never house… Read more »

Tinner
Tinner
2 years ago
Reply to  Mono Person

That’s kinda what I figured why some people are homeless, I once had a roommate like that, the only thing he ever did was make a mess and a lot of noise.

Stop non-essential travel
Stop non-essential travel
2 years ago
Reply to  Mono Person

wait. you were denying their right to smoke ? you and your staff got upset about their expression of free speech ? sounds to me like they were simply participating in their constitutional rights.

David Dennison
David Dennison
2 years ago

Stop non-essential travel Unless your being sarcastic,is that what it’s come to…their “right” to smoke ? In case you haven’t noticed,about 99 % of motels now don’t allow smoking in their rooms. It’s not a Constitutional “right” over-riding that….. And it’s not a “freedom of speech right” to be rude… Read more »

Stop non-essential travel
Stop non-essential travel
2 years ago
Reply to  David Dennison

Mr Dennison, I was being sarcastic. the point is: people (Mono Person, for example) have been whining about their constitutional rights being squashed by the shelter-in-place orders, the delay of the fishing opener, canceling of events, and now by the orders to wear a mask in public if 6-ft distancing… Read more »

David Dennison
David Dennison
2 years ago
Reply to  David Dennison

Stop non-essential travel LOL!!! I kinda thought you were being sarcastic… But in this day and age,it’s kinda hard to tell when someone is doing that,with SO MANY stupid things being said and tossed around,mainly,like you say,the “tyranny” aspect,taking away “my rights”,Governor Newsom being part of the “deep state”,trying to… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Liberty

Relocate?

How would you envision that happening? I’d imagine most people wouldn’t respond well to the notion of being relocated, and understandably so.

Mono Person
Mono Person
2 years ago

But look what our government is doing to “homed” people? Our rights are being stomped over daily. And we just go along….

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Mono Person

From February 29 to today, over 77K Americans have died from this virus. And that’s with restrictions in place. If you feel these restrictions are unreasonable, how would you propose our federal, state and local officials manage this pandemic? And how many would have to die before you’d be willing… Read more »

Kitty Bridgeman
Kitty Bridgeman
7 months ago

Take the soggy sweaty gross restrictive mask off for starters. Get closer…not further…think 1ft instead of 6ft. Be bold. 99.7% survival rate…do not live in fear. Have faith. Let your immune system do the rest.

Oddjob
Oddjob
2 years ago

The summer months are ahead there may not be many takers, can you imagine the heat of living out of your car sitting on asphalt! And not leaving? Most will probably simply stay along the river where it undoubtedly will be more comfortable .