Safe Lot Bill Gains Momentum, Passes the Assembly

Assemblymember Marc Berman speaks during April press conference. Photo Credit: Assembly Democratic Caucus

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) released the following statement in response to Assembly Bill 302 passing out of the Assembly today with bipartisan support. Championed by Berman and sponsored by the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, the bill would require community colleges to grant overnight access to campus parking facilities for homeless students to sleep in their vehicles.

“Student homelessness has reached a crisis point across California, and the safety of our students warrants immediate attention,” said Assemblymember Berman. “While we work towards the long term solution of building more housing, this is a significant step we can take to ensure that the tens of thousands of homeless students living out of their cars have a safe place to sleep at night.”

A recent report released by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice, which surveyed nearly 40,000 students at 57 community colleges, found that 19% of respondents experienced homelessness in the previous year. Extrapolated to California’s community college population of 2.1 million students that means nearly 400,000 students have experienced homelessness in the last year.

Assembly Bill 302 would require community colleges to grant overnight access to campus parking facilities to any homeless student that is enrolled in coursework, has paid enrollment fees if not waived, and is in good standing with the community college, without requiring the student to enroll in additional courses. The governing board of each community college would be required to develop an implementation plan that includes, in part, an overnight parking form and liability waiver, designation of a specific parking area or areas, accessible bathroom facilities, hours of operation, and overnight parking rules. Further, AB 302 importantly specifies that it is the intent of the Legislature that homeless students who use the overnight parking facilities shall be connected to available state, county, community college district, and community-based housing, food, and financial assistance resources.

The bill previously passed out of the Assembly Higher Education Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Assembly Bill 302 is also supported by the Alliance for a Better Community, Alliance for Children’s Rights, California Faculty Association, California School Employees Association, California YIMBY, Dreams for Change, Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, Homeless United Huntington Beach, LifeMoves, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter, NextGen California, Safe Parking LA, South Bay YIMBY, and Western Center on Law & Poverty.

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

Related posts


  1. Alan Miller

    Seems to me this is discriminatory towards the privileged homeless who own cars, at the expense of those who do not have a car.  May those without a car pitch a tent in the parking lot planters?

    But seriously folks . . . tell me the law of unintended consequences isn’t going to kick in here, with bathroom facilities as a requirement, that people learn to game the system, sign up for a cheap community college course, and now have a place to sleep at night, with the dozens/hundreds of others who figure this out, and the com-col parking lots turn into homeless camps . . . the person then drops the course a few weeks in and starts over again next quarter, the college not having the resources to enforce/regulate the new encampments.

    “an overnight parking form . . . ”

    That should solve all the problems. Government forms to the rescue!


  2. Craig Ross

    I don’t really get the objection here.  It’s not a bill that changes the world.  It is a bill that takes a limited population who is sleeping in their cars and gives them a place to rest.

  3. Dave Hart

    It’s a sorrowful statement that this is even a thing.  It’s like legislation to provide free crutches to polio victims instead of working on a vaccine.  Maybe there’s a better analogy but it shows how impotent our economic system is in providing for basic needs.

    1. Bill Marshall

      On this, agree with both you and Craig…

      Yet, still have seen no commitment to fund Comm Colleges to accommodate/implement… real easy to posture and expect things from others, more difficult to openly deal with the financial piece… and will the funding draw down from other schools (k-12) funding, or new taxes… not addressed…

      Will it be a precedent for doing same for State Universities?

      It’s like legislation to provide free crutches to polio victims instead of working on a vaccine

      Spot on!  Je d’accord!  Do we expand the availability of crutches, or do we seek a cure to the causative issue…

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for