The Pilot Program is intended to reduce barriers to shelter development in unincorporated areas of the County, so that people experiencing homelessness can access immediate shelter. Designated shelters can mitigate environmental damage and health and safety effects related to gathering of unhoused people without adequate services. The Pilot Program does not identify safe parking or safe shelter sites, but rather sets site criteria, operating standards, and a permit process that facilitates development. 

Last updated August 9, 2022.


Humboldt County Planning proposes adding a Safe Parking – Safe Shelter Pilot Program that will run for 18 months on public or private land. The Pilot Program would provide safe, temporary shelter sites that accommodate vehicles, tents, cabins, or other approved structures for people who are experiencing homelessness while they seek permanent housing. 

The sites may be run by government entities, non-profits, or religious organizations, along with businesses or community organizations. At a minimum, all sites would have toilet and hand-washing facilities, access to showers, trash collection, and on-site security for participants, and would follow a written management plan developed in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services. The type and number of vehicles or shelters, the participants’ length of stay, hours of site operation, and level of services provided depend on the Provider’s choice of management plan.

  1. Pilot Program Ordinances and Documents
  2. Brief FAQs
  3. FAQs for Developers and Public

Pilot Program Ordinances

The documents below were adopted at the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.  The Inland ordinance became effective on July 7, 2022. The Coastal ordinance will become effective upon certification by the California Coastal Commission. 

Inland Safe Parking-Safe Shelter Pilot Program

Coastal Safe Parking-Safe Shelter Pilot Program-DRAFT

Model Management Plans

In accord with State Housing Law limits, and to incentivize low-cost facilities, the Pilot Program offers templates for three Management Plans, a sample Plot Plan, and a sample Host & Participant Agreement. Providers are strongly encouraged to follow one of the three Model Management Plans developed in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services.

The three model management plans in the Pilot Program are the Minimal Requirements Plan, the Village Plan, and the Low Barrier Plan (see the three links to PDFs below). The Minimal Requirements and the Village Plan are intended to be less expensive, for areas where services and resources are harder to assemble. These plans incorporate less regulation and are intended for providers that rely on private or combination funding. A third model (the Low Barrier Plan) allows for more service-intensive programs with higher levels of case management and staffing. 

Minimal Requirements Management Plan

Village Model Management Plan

Low Barrier Model Management Plan

All three model plans encourage allowing for pets, partners and possessions, but only the Low Barrier Model requires these provisions. 

See this PDF for a comparison of the three Model Management Plans.

For sites that allow tents, cabins and non-vehicle shelters, Non-Vehicle Shelter Standards are provided in an appendix to the management plans. The standards reference Appendix X of the California Residential Code, and Appendix O of the California Building Code, both linked below. 

Appendix X (now Appendix AZ in 2022 Residential Code)

Appendix O (now Appendix P in 2022 Residential Code)

Sample Safe Parking-Safe Shelter Plot Plan

A Plot Plan showing the proposed Pilot site is to be submitted with an application for a Zoning Clearance Certificate. This Sample Plot Plan is an example of the elements that should be represented.

  1. Are Other Places Doing This?
  2. Shelter Crisis Ordinance
  3. Archived Documents

Get Notifications

You can sign up for email or text notifications for Housing Element Implementation, including Ordinances, code updates and other topics on the County’s website at: Notify Me.

Once there, sign in with your email. Then select “General Plan Implementation” for ordinance workshops, meetings, and notices

You can also submit ideas and questions through our long range planning email, where we collect public comments: