Living in Vehicles and Homeless Information

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. 

Latest Updates

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. 


June 11, 2019 Council Actions on Oversized Vechicles

No ban was adopted on June 11, but the following is a summary of the key actions taken by Council regarding oversize vehicles. 

  • On June 11, City Council directed staff to return in Fall 2019 with a draft ordinance and action plan for a phased approach to address public health and safety concerns related to oversized vehicles.
  • The Fall report should include the following components: daytime parking restrictions around Eagle and Rengstorff Parks, as well as key bike and pedestrian corridors; information on what a residential zone restrictions might look like, and an ordinance with a citywide overnight ban of oversized vehicle parking from 2:00 - 6:00 a.m. that could go into effect by January 1, 2020, after the proposed City Safe Parking spaces would be available.
  • As part of the motion, staff was also directed to come back in March/April 2020 with an update on the impacts of the new ordinance in order for Council to consider adoption of a full, 24/7 oversize vehicle ban effective July 1, 2020 if desired.
  • Finally, Council asked staff to increase efforts to address the shelter crisis by examining additional zones where shelters could be located, provide a progress report next Spring on efforts undertaken and recommendations to increase shelter capacity, and work with regional partners to identify ways to increase transitional housing supply, shelter capacity and permanent supportive housing.

June 11, 2019 Council Actions on the Safe Parking Program

The following is a summary of key actions taken by Council regarding the Safe Parking Program. A resolution was passed, but no ordinance was adopted at the June 11 meeting.

  • On June 11, Council adopted a resolution for a City Safe Parking Program at two City-controlled lots at Shoreline Amphitheatre Lot B (from November 15, 2019 to March 15, 2020) and the lot at Pioneer Way and Evelyn Avenue (once permitted under a lease agreement with VTA) and to continue funding a caseworker for the chronically homeless.
  • Council also gave direction to staff on their parameters for location, hours and permitting for a draft Safe Parking Program Ordinance to be presented to the Environmental Planning Commission (EPC) and then the Council in early Fall.
  • Council-directed parameters for City-operated or -funded lots included: tying the Safe Parking Program to an “emergency shelter crisis” declaration; looking at ways to expand the program further to churches and private lots in non-residential areas; options for hours of operation; further exploration of program preferences given to families with students in Mountain View School Districts, people who live and work in Mountain View, seniors and people with disabilities; and continuing to seek partner funding, Safe Parking spaces, and resources from both public and private entities with an emphasis on providing services to get participants into housing.
  • Additionally, Council directed staff to pursue a State exemption from compliance with the Special Occupancy Parks Act, the Mobilehome Parks Act and Mobilehome Residency Law for Safe Parking and general support of the concept of a regional taskforce.

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