Where Can I Sleep in My Car if I’m Homeless? Step by Step Guide

Where Can I Sleep in My Car if I'm Homeless? There are several options available to those in need. We have listed 10+ places where you can park your car and sleep.

If you are suffering from temporary homelessness then your car can be your temporary shelter solution. But finding a safe and legal place to sleep in is difficult. However, as awareness and understanding of the problem increases, there are several options available to those in need.

Walmarts across the country are known for allowing overnight parking, but it’s worth checking with store management beforehand. Likewise, gym parking lots, especially those open 24 hours a day, may allow overnight guests, especially if you are a member. Truck stops and highway rest areas can also operate and provide space between other travelers, but be aware of restrictions.

Always look for well-lit areas and be aware of local regulations that may prohibit sleeping in vehicles overnight. Contacting local support services can also provide guidance and possibly more stable parking and sleeping options.

Key points:

  • Being homeless suddenly if you haven’t nowhere to go then you can spend your night in the car.
  • To stay in your car you have to search for a free, safe, legal place first.
  • We have compiled a list of places where you can park your car and stay overnight.
  • Travelers can sleep in the car at Walmart. But, it’s necessary to take permission from the manager.

Where Can I Sleep in My Car if I’m Homeless? Safe and Legal Places

If you haven’t a roof over your head and you have to spend the night in your car ten it is necessary to find a safe and legal place where you can park your car and sleep there. So, after researching a lot we have discovered a few safe and legal places for you where you can spend the overnight by sleeping in your car.

Where Can I Sleep in My Car if I'm Homeless
Where Can I Sleep in My Car if I’m Homeless?

The places are:

1. Church parking spaces

Some churches offer people who are in need and may allow overnight parking. It is important to ask permission first as this is not a generally accepted practice. Working with local community services can sometimes open up these opportunities.

2. Assigned overnight parking spaces

Homeless people can park their vehicles overnight in certain cities where there are designated parking spaces or areas. There is a possibility that charities or local governments are running these initiatives.

3. Walmart parking lots

In the US several Walmart stores allow are we and cars to park overnight. You can park your car there and sleep overnight. However, it is a good idea to check with the store manager before parking your card overnight as policies may vary by location.

4. Camping Grounds and RV Parks

If you have some money in your pocket then you can go to the campaign Grounds and RV Park where overnight parking rates are affordable. In these areas, you will get amenities like restrooms, showers, etc.

5. Rest areas

Many states allow travelers to stay overnight at rest areas. Although these areas are designed for short stays, they can provide a temporary solution. Be sure to check the specific rules for the rest area you are considering, as they can vary from state to state.

6. 24 hour gyms

Members of 24-hour gyms often have access to parking lots that are open all night. Although it is designed primarily for gym use, it could be a viable option for you as a member for occasional overnight stays. Always check the gym’s policies first.

7. Friends and family

Sometimes connecting with friends and family is the most overlooked thing. While this may not be feasible or desirable for everyone, those with a support network can find a driveway or private parking lot where they can park safely overnight.

8. A Distributed Campsite

If you live near a forest, a dispersed campsite is another good option.

These are designated areas in national forests outside of traditional campgrounds that are 100% free and legal!

If you’re homeless, the way it works is that you park in a specific location for up to 16 days and then drive at least five to ten miles down the road to another location. You do this because if you don’t, the parking attendants will fine you. They usually record when you come and when you leave so you know when you should leave.

9. A parking lot full of cookie barrels

Cracker Barrel is an American-based Southern-style restaurant and store chain. It offers delicious home-cooked Southern dishes and a variety of retail stores decorated with South American culture.

Cracker Barrel also allows drivers to sleep in its parking lots, although this is only legal with express permission from the store manager.

1o. A Home Depot Parking Lot

Home Depot is a hardware store with more than 2,000 stores in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Many Home Depots also allow overnight parking, suggests Outdoors Nomad, but the permit is contingent on approval from the store manager.

11. A Fitness Parking Space at All Times

Anytime Fitness is a 24-hour fitness studio with over 5,000 locations in over 50 countries worldwide.

This can also be a good place to spend the night in the car, says Maureen from Stromads, because if you’re a member you can also use the toilet and shower while you’re there. Just make sure you get permission.

12. Truck stops

A truck stop is a rest stop for large trucks. Although they are generally not intended for cars, there are some.

13. Casinos

Casinos are another great place to park and exercise, but they aren’t everywhere. So whether you can sleep in the parking lot or not depends on where you are. If you are near a casino, give it a try.

Most are open 24 hours a day and allow overnight parking. However, to be legal there you would have to get a permit and it will be difficult to get one without losing money.

Note: You should take permission to park your car for 24/7 freely, safely, and legally in some places. Never park your car overnight at somone’s private area without permission.

Where is The Best Place to Sleep When Homeless? Alternatives to Sleeping in a Car

1. Emergency shelters and temporary accommodation

The most immediate option for many is homeless shelters. Shelters can provide a bed, meals, and sometimes additional services such as advice and job search assistance.

2. Transitional housing programs

These programs offer more than just a place to sleep; Their goal is to help people transition from homelessness to permanent housing.

3. Homeless shelters

Although sleeping in a car isn’t the best option, homeless shelters provide a warm bed, meals, and access to resources like showers and support services.

4. Public spaces and community support

Some 24-hour cafes and fast food restaurants may allow visitors to stay for a short time, especially at off-peak times.

I Am Homeless Where Can I Park My Car to Sleep in Without Being Spotted by People?

When homeless and looking for a safe place to park your car to sleep without being spotted by people, consider the following options:

  • Designated Safe Zones (where you can park legally and safely overnight and sleep there without being spotted by people).
  • Industrial Areas (where you can Park your car in industrial areas, as these areas are open for overnight and quiet and safe).
  • Transitional Homes (another safe and legal place is a transitional home as these homes offer people a safe place to sleep).

You can find some other safe places where you can park your car and sleep for overnight. Remember you shouldn’t use anyone’s private property.

Can Homeless People Sleep in Their Car at Walmart?

Travelers can sleep in the car at Walmart. And this is now very demanding like every traveler wants to enjoy this experience at least for once. Walmart has earned a reputation over the years as a friendly haven for RVers and other travelers who need a safe place to rest at night.

But can you really sleep in your car at Walmart if you’re homeless? It depends. You have to follow a few steps before that.

  • Always stop by and ask the store manager if overnight parking is allowed. This step is crucial as it respects the store’s policies and ensures that you don’t violate local laws.
  • If you get the green light, choose a spot at the edge of the parking lot. Avoid occupying rooms near the entrance or in high-traffic areas.
  • Walmart parking lots are intended for short stays. One night is usually acceptable, but don’t push your luck with multiple nights without explicit permission.

Tips for Peaceful Sleep in a Car

A few tips to sleep in a car with peace and comfort. Let’s check:

  • Choose the Right Spot: for a peaceful sleep in a car you have to look for our safe and legal place first where you can park your car such as rest stops, campgrounds, or designated parking areas. To avoid any kind of harassment don’t park your car where parking is prohibited.
  • Seat Adjustment: for a comfortable sleep you can recline your fraud said as far back as possible to make a flat surface. Then you can make your bed there with pillows, mattress toppers, blankets, etc. This will make your bed more comfortable and you can sleep there peacefully.
  • Temperature Control: you need to keep your car well ventilated to prevent condensation and stuffiness. To maintain privacy and any outside light that may disturb you, you can use window Shades or curtains.
  • Leave the Engine Running: While it may be tempting to leave the engine running to warm up or turn on the air conditioning, it is not safe to do so while you are sleeping. Instead, dress warmly and use blankets to stay comfortable in cold weather.
  • Safety Precautions: Never forget to lock the doors and close the windows properly before going to sleep in your car. It is mandatory to do for safety reasons. You can also use a portable car alarm for added security.
  • Check your state and local laws: Familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations about sleeping in your car. Some areas may have specific restrictions or regulations that you should be aware of to avoid fines or legal problems.
  • Make sure you pay attention to your bathroom needs: Plan bathroom breaks by identifying public bathrooms or nearby facilities where you have access to toilets and sinks. Consider bringing a portable toilet or disposable urinal for emergencies.
  • Mindset: Sleeping in a car is not comfortable we know but if you have no other option then what can you do. Just make a clear by mistake and try to be relax. You can do meditation to come your mind before sleeping.

Note: Follow these tips to stay in your car without any harassment, problem, or difficulty.

Resources for Homeless Car Sleepers

  • Homeless shelters: Homeless shelters can provide a safe, warm place to sleep for those living in their cars. They can also offer resources and support to find more permanent housing solutions.
  • Local organizations: There may be local organizations in your area that offer resources and support to people experiencing homelessness. These organizations can provide information about safe places to park and sleep in your car, as well as other resources for those who need it.
  • Online communities: There are online communities and forums dedicated to supporting homeless people living in their cars. These communities can provide those in need with valuable information and assistance in finding safe places to park, sleep, and other resources.


If you’re suffering from homelessness, have nowhere to go and need to live in your car then it is a very difficult experience. Because finding a safe and legal place to park is not very easy. However you can find some places where you can park your car safely and sleep there peacefully.

You have to contact some ocal organizations and online communities that help homeless people to live in their car with safety and comfort.

in this article we have briefly describe the safe and legal places where you can stay in your car. Also will have mentioned some tips to make your day peaceful and some resources too where you may find help.


Is it legal to sleep in your car in Texas?

Yes it is legal to sleep in your car in Texas. But it is necessary to park your car in a safe and legal place. Never park your car is a place where parking is prohibited.

Where is the safest place to sleep in your car?

Walmart or 24-hour grocery stores are the the safest place to sleep in your car. But keep in mind that you have to take permission from the store manager before paking your car at thir parkinh for overnight.

Is it illegal to sleep in your car in the States?

There is no specific federal law that specifically prohibits sleeping in a car. However, there are federal laws that indirectly limit when sleeping in a car is legal: Private Property Laws: Trespassing on private property is a quick way to make sleeping in a car illegal.

Are there any laws about homeless people sleeping in public places or their cars?

According to law, it is legal to sleep in public places or their cars for homeless people almost in in every 50 state.

If you are homeless and have a vehicle, are you really “homeless”?

Yes, people who are homeless and have a vehicle, are really “homeless” because they can sleep in their car for overnight but people who haven’t home called “homeless”.

How long can I stay in one place in my car homeless?

If you’re homeless try to contact churches that help with homeless, and some organizayions that may help you. And for the time you’re not getting any shelter assistance you can stay in one place in your car.