Not everyone wants that.
In 2002, Marin's Committee for Social Justice won city approval for the parking program, which was modeled on one in Eugene, Ore. Marin said his group merely wanted safe parking spots for the homeless, but it was more politically palatable to "regularize" them with placement in conventional housing.
One man, who requested anonymity, said he has lived in vans off and on for 25 years, partly because coming up with rent every month can be so stressful that it triggers his chronic fatigue syndrome.
He said he feels some shame about it.
"Some RVers are just drunks, living on the street, letting their sewage tanks overflow and giving all of us a bad name," said the man, who wears a dark suit every day to his minimum-wage job in the tourism industry. "I deal with some high-end people, and if they knew I lived in my van, I'd feel about two inches tall."
That's not a big concern for Harley Hill, 27, and Megan Connelly, 23, a couple from Oregon who can afford their expensive raw-food diet and all-natural clothing partly because they live with their two small children in an RV they bought for $2,300.
Last spring, Connelly gave birth to baby Theo in the RV, parked at the county office complex. A landscaper at UC Santa Barbara, Hill has medical benefits, but he and Connelly both wanted the kind of privacy that's rare in bustling hospitals.
"We'd studied what to do, but we had a list of emergency numbers just in case," said Hill, slicing tomatoes, peaches and Spanish sheep's milk cheese for an evening repast by candlelight -- a necessity after a fuse blew. "In a hospital, people keep coming in to check on you. But here at home, it was quiet, we could focus."
They're not sure how long they'll call the parking lot home. After all, they were en route to Mexico when Santa Barbara drew them in last year. "We're kind of nomadic by nature," Hill said. "Next stop could be South America -- who knows?"
In the meantime, most of their parking-lot peers will pursue more modest dreams.
Talley will help them navigate a three-year waiting list for apartments, advise them on how to save money, get them to medical appointments and point them to stores that have good deals on secondhand blankets and camping toilets and day-old bread. Rowdies and rule-breakers will be tossed out, at least for a while.
"It's a constant give-and-take," Talley said. "It's a huge deal that organizations allow us to use their parking lots at night. They're saying we trust you, we trust your clients."