Clunkers for Naps

"Economic refugees" could be allowed to sleep in parked vehicles

Long Beach residents who've fallen on tough times may soon be allowed to take shelter in their cars.

Councilman Dee Andrews wants to make it legal for "economic refugees" to sleep in parked vehicles. The proposal would create parking zones -- a sort of tent city on wheels -- for people to get some rest.

Andrews plans to pitch the idea to colleagues on Tuesday. The 6th District councilman will ask the city manager and attorney to identify costs, liabilities and locations, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported:

Possible locations cited in the proposal include municipal property, industrial land, church parking lots and property owned by nonprofit organizations.

The councilman said his goal is to minimize the impact on residential areas. He sees plenty of people sleeping in their cars in the 6th District's central area, but believes the problem is widespread. The ordinance he is seeking would create sleeping zones citywide.

Currently it's illegal to sleep or camp in a vehicle, Assistant City Attorney Mike Mais told the newspaper.

"It's a compassionate plea," Andrews told the Press-Telegram. "In this economy, we've got to come together as human beings."

Contact Us