Living in Vehicles and Homeless Information


For information about the Safe Parking Program, visit our Safe Parking Program page.

For information about our 3-prong, strategic approach, visit our Homeless Study, Survey and Strategy page

Links to Resources for Homeless and Neighbors 

Click here to go weblinks to local and county resources for neighbors and homeless or scroll down the page. 

IN ADDITION, the following services will be added or remain accessible through the County Shelter-in-Place Order to help give much-needed support to the vulnerable in our community.

Services to the Homeless/Unstably Housed in Mountain View

    Highlights of latest efforts  (updated May 26, 2020)

    Opened two 24/7 Safe Parking lots, as a collaborative pilot with County and a third coming soon
    More than 1500 information packets hand-delivered to homeless/unstably housed
    More than 1950 food packets delivered to homeless/unstably housed
    More than 8700 masks and 97 face shields distributed to the community, so far
    Created an Emergency Grocery Gift Card program

    More than 425 hygiene kits given to homeless/unstably housed
    320 grocery gift cards
    Staff redeployed to deliver food to seniors in need
    Re-opened Hope’s Corner showers and restrooms at 9 parks,
    Placed 14 outdoor portable restrooms (11 ADA compatible) and 16 hygiene stations around the City
    2 pop-up diagnostic test units, so far


    (As of May 23) Slide includes numbers expected on May 24 distribution from NES - 250 info packets, 650 food packets
    The City continues to lead on safe parking and will be opening the long-awaited Terra Bella lot soon (provided in partnership with the Palo Alto Housing Corporation and the County of Santa Clara).
    The City has widely distributed important resource information (such as the attached) digitally, and to each living in vehicle windshield with all of the relief resources available to homeless and unstably housed in our City in both English and Spanish.
    MVPD-NES continues on-going outreach and providing food packets, disposable masks and hygiene kits, as donated:
    - Distributing more than 1150 printed informational packets at 4 different times with all of the relief resources available to homeless and unstably housed in our City in both English and Spanish and provided those packets to our Community Based Organizations to hand out to clients;
    - Re-deployed staff to the Community Services Agency to help with multilingual needs and assist with delivering meals to seniors;
    - Given out at least 1300 food packets directly to homeless/unstably housed (which includes people living in vehicles)
    - This week handed out 5200 masks and 97 face shields at our pop-up mask distribution at Shoreline Amphitheater.
    - Provided 1000 masks to the Cafecito/May Day Committee for disbursement to the families of low income students.
    - 2,500 masks distributed both directly to homeless/unstably housed and through CSA, Hope's Corner and the Senior Center
    - 425 donated hygiene kits
    · 320 donated grocery gift cards just in the past month (in addition to the City – CSA program)
    The City has re-deployed staff to the Community Services Agency (CSA) to help with senior food delivery, rent relief, and multilingual needs of our residents.
    Staff holds weekly calls with the County and CBO-contract providers to assess needs and response.
    The City has provided basic drinking/hand washing on-site water access to the safe parking sites, and the County – MOVE-MV has implemented a water access plan (water is limited to participants of the Safe Parking program, from 9AM-9PM).
    A team of the City, County, HomeFirst, Hope’s Corner, and the YMCA have been working to get staffing to bring showers back to Hope’s Corner, and are delighted to announce that they re-started at Hope’s Corner this past Wednesday with HomeFirst staffing paid for by the City.
    The service will be available on M-W-F from 7-11AM (days/times subject to change).
    This will supplement the DOW mobile services on Tuesday’s at CSA from 1-4 PM, and are working to add additional hours for this service as well.
    These combined services are estimated to provide shower capacity for 80 or more clients
    · Teams also continue to look at additional options for address food insecurity among seniors and other food access gaps.

    • Homeless Shelters: All shelters are open 24/7, by referral. Mountain View Trinity United Methodist (748 Mercy St, Mountain View) and Sunnyvale (999 Hamlin Ct, Sunnyvale). Download the County Homeless Help Card
    • Safe Parking Lots / MOVE Mountain View - Safe Parking: Safe parking staff continues operations of the safe parking lots, observing direction from HUD specific to homeless services providers.
      • Shoreline Lot B operated by the County with 24/7 services should be open next week. (register now, not at capacity).
      • The Former VTA (Evelyn Avenue) lot was opened to participants as of Monday, March 16, currently operated from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. (register now, not at capacity).
      • One faith lot in current operations (at capacity, wait list available)
      • Contact: CSA for case management (650) 968-0836, MOVE Mountain View for operations,, (650) 861-0181
    • County of Santa Clara Office of Supportive Housing: is working closely with our local non-profits and service providers coordinating services., Call (408) 278-6400 or text 888777 for text messages about services.
    • Community Services Agency (CSA): Senior Nutrition Program services are providing a “To-Go” boxed meal distribution at the Community Services Agency. The food pantry shifted to pre-bagged food distribution on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Homeless Prevention and Homeless Services case management are being conducted by phone. Contact Community Services Agency (CSA): or (650) 968-0836. Office hours are M-F, 9 a.m.–noon and 1:30-4 p.m. at 204 Stierlin Road, Mountain View
    • Second Harvest Foodbank: To find out where the nearest grocery distribution besides CSA: Contact Food Connection hotline at 1-800-984-3663 Text “GETFOOD” to (408) 455-5181. Email us at or visit
    • School Food Distribution: for students under 18. Mountain View Whisman & Mountain View Los Altos HSD will have meals at Castro/Mistral School (505 Escuela Ave.) Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Lunch and Breakfast at a Food for Thought Truck- Grab and Go, drive up - curbside or walk up meals Breakfast and lunch, packed together. or
    • Hope’s Corner: Suspended the Thursday and Saturday shower and laundry program. On-site dining has been suspended, but breakfast and lunch are offered as “To Go” boxed meals. located at 748 Mercy St., Mountain View
    • Dignity on Wheels (DOW): Free mobile showers, washer and dryer services continue located at CSA on Tuesday’s 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Click here for a full list of Emergency Assistance Network (EAN) partners in Santa Clara County

    For more information on actions the City has taken during this COVID-19 Pandemic, resources available to minimize spread and other important information, visit and follow City Hall on social media through,,, or subscribe on


    Latest Updates

    January 14, 2020 Council Meeting: Council asks voters to decide on restricting oversized vehicles on narrow streets in November election

    At their Jan. 14 Meeting, Mountain View City Council adopted a resolution to ask voters on the November 3 General Election Ballot if we should restrict oversized vehicle parking on narrow streets. City staff can take no action to implement or enforce a narrow streets parking restriction until after the election votes are verified by the Registrar of Voters, likely in early December.

    Although the narrow streets parking restrictions will go to the November ballot, the oversized vehicle parking restrictions on streets with designated bike lanes (Class II or higher) is still in effect. City staff will be sending out notices and posting signage on streets impacted by the ordinance as early as March so that enforcement can begin at those locations.

    More than 40 people spoke at the Jan. 14 meeting, expressing both support and opposition to the narrow streets parking restrictions. Public comments addressed concerns about the safety impacts of large vehicles in rights-of-way and the needs of unstably housed people living in them. The City has been receiving such feedback and working on addressing these complex, interrelated issues since 2014.

    Since that time, the City has invested $2.2 million in providing services for the homeless, case management to help people get back into housing, preventing displacement and addressing public safety concerns. 

    September 24, 2019 Summary of Council Actions on Safe Parking and Emergency Shelters

    Accept staff recommendations for expansion of Safe Parking to include private lots and more zones for Emergency Shelters, and to use the HRC to help connect the City to possible new lots, require HRC to provide quarterly progress updates, change the hours of operation to 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. and the operator MAY elect to have a different time span or allow when lot if not in use for other things, increase shelter bed maximum to 150 (from 78) for any shelter in Mountain View, and direct staff to discuss with School District about using joint athletic facilities as possible emergency shelter for those in need.

    Staff recommendations were:
    1. Introduce An Ordinance Amending Chapter 36, Articles XVII, IX, XVI, IV, V, VI, and VIII and Chapter 19, Article VIII, of the Mountain View City Code Related to Safe Parking and Emergency Shelters, to be read in title only, further reading waived, and set a second reading for October 22, 2019 (Attachment 1 to the Council report).
    2. Adopt A Resolution Amending the P-39 (North Bayshore) Precise Plan Related to Safe Parking, to be read in title only, further reading waived (Attachment 2 to the Council report).
    3. Approve direction for the Human Relations Commission to have a role in safe parking outreach.
    4. Authorize the use of $100,000 for safe parking from the $200,000 included in the Fiscal Year 2019-20 Adopted Budget originally authorized for Homeless Enforcement Initiatives.
    5. Authorize the City Manager to execute an agreement with the County of Santa Clara for a total not to exceed $285,000, which includes $100,000 to increase the safe parking capacity; $125,000, as previously approved, to continue a case worker for permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless; and $60,000 for case management and outreach.

    Links to Council Meetings on this Topic 

    September 24 Council Packet and Report 

    June 11, 2019 Council Packet and Report

    April 9, 2019 Council Packet and Report

    March 19, 2019 Council Packet and Report

    December 11, 2018 Council Packet and Report

    October 9, 2018 Council Packet and Report

    March 6, 2018 Council Packet and Report 

    March 7, 2017 Council Packet and Report

    December 13, 2016 Council Packet and Report

    October 4, 2016 Council Packet and Report

    February 23, 2016 Council Packet and Report

    Santa Clara County Homeless Census and Survey

    On January 29 and 30, Santa Clara County conducted their bi-annual point-in-time (PIT) homeless count across Santa Clara County. While the Countywide summary was published in May, the city-by-city data was posted on July 12, 2019 and may be viewed or downloaded here: Santa Clara County 2019 Homeless Census and Survey

    Quick Mountain View-specific Summary

    2019 Mountain View Data:

    • Mountain View homelessness is up to 606 from 416 - a 46% increase in its homeless population from 2017.
    • Mountain View has the 3rd highest percentage increase in the County. Our neighbors, in Sunnyvale had the largest percentage increase recorded at 147%;  Palo Alto increased by 13%; and Los Altos went from reporting 6 in 2017 to 76 in 2019.
    • In terms of numbers, Mountain View has the 4th largest homeless population in the County.

    2019 Background Points:

    • The outreach and communications for the PIT process was increased to ensure a more accurate count.
    • There is a large increase in vehicle living count Countywide (from 591 to 1,747 Countywide).  Mountain View counts of living in vehicles have ranged from 200-300 over the last three years.
    • In Fiscal Year 2017-18, CSA served 597 homeless unduplicated individuals and in 2018-19 that number has risen further to well over 600.
    • The County Cold Weather Shelter at Trinity United Methodist Church (operated by HomeFirst) showed 32 “sheltered” homeless, which could be read as part of the increase in Mountain View.
    • Survey feedback included the lack of affordable housing availability experienced by respondents seeking it, along with the need for assistance with rent/mortgage payments, employment assistance, and alcohol/drug counseling to help prevent individuals from becoming homeless. 

    Homelessness Study, Survey and Strategy 

    For background information, including studies, surveys and strategies and related Council reports, click here: Homelessness Study, Survey and Strategy


    The City understands concerns about maintaining the quality of life in Mountain View and balancing interests of those living in vehicles with those of our neighbors. While most residents living in vehicles abide by laws, Mountain View has continued to enforce other code provisions when applicable, such as illegal waste dumping or trespassing.

    • Both residents living in vehicles and neighbors are encouraged to contact the Mountain View Police Department (MVPD) when experiencing any emergency or safety threat by dialing 9-1-1.
    • For non-emergency concerns, call the non-emergency line at (650) 903-6395.
    • You may also report vehicles parked for more than 72 hours by calling our hotline at (650) 903-6358.

    Looking to Help?

    The best way for people to help is to volunteer or donate money or items to members of the Emergency Assistance Network (EAN), which include the Community Services Agency here in Mountain View. Get more information about local EANs and the Community Services Agency in the links below.

    Santa Clara County Hotlines are also available:

    • Call 2-1-1 for Health and Human Services in Santa Clara County
    • Homeless Helpline: Call the County Office of Supportive Housing at (408) 793-0550 to ask for assistance or report a homeless person in need in Santa Clara County (excluding San Jose)
    • Homeless can register to receive text messages about services as by sending a text message to 888777

    HelpFul Resources for Our Homeless Neighbors

    Santa Clara County Hotlines are also available:

    • Call 2-1-1 for Health and Human Services in Santa Clara County
    • Homeless Helpline: Call the County Office of Supportive Housing at (408) 793-0550 to ask for assistance or report a homeless person in need in Santa Clara County (excluding San Jose)
    • Homeless can register to receive text messages about services as by sending a text message to 888777


    For questions about the City's homeless initiatives, use AskMV and choose "Homeless/Living in Vehicles" from the menu. 

    For questions about parking violations, use AskMV and choose "Police Department/Parking Enforcement" from the menu.

    Periodic updates are also available by, following the City's social media channels, which you can access through