California’s hidden homeless: Teachers, chefs, nurses and other middle class workers living in cars in parking lots because of the state’s crazy property prices

Hundreds of people are sleeping in parking lots in areas like Santa Barbara. Rising cost of rent and housing has forced middle class workers to take up residence in their cars to make ends meet. Most of those sleeping rough in cars are part of the area’s Safe Parking program. It is run by the New Beginnings Counseling Center and aims to provide a secure area for the homeless to sleep in their vehicle.

The rising cost of rent and housing in California is forcing residents into alternative accommodation with middle class workers taking up residence in their cars and RVs by the side of the road to make ends meet.

Hundreds of people, including nurses and chefs, are sleeping in parking lots in affluent areas like Santa Barbara as they make the most of the only homes they can afford.

Marva Ericson, who works as a nursing assistant, has been sleeping in her Kia for the past three months. She wakes up before dawn each day, showers at the local YMCA and dresses in her hospital scrubs to head to work.

‘I wake up and I say, ‘Thank you God for keeping me safe last night, and thank you for the Safe Parking program’,’ the 48-year-old told the LA Times.

Like Ericson, most of the people sleeping rough in their cars are part of the area’s Safe Parking program, which is run by the New Beginnings Counseling Center and aims to provide a secure area for the homeless to sleep in their vehicles.

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