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City's towing policy in spotlight after story goes viral

Susan Murphy
San Diego police cars with flashing lights roll up on 17th Street to clear the homeless and their tents from the sidewalks in the East Village, June 27, 2016.

San Diego officials are considering changing the city's policy on towing vehicles. Currently, the city's policy is to enforce vehicle code violations, like outstanding parking tickets and expired registrations, equally, whether people are living in those vehicles or not.

But, if a family car also doubles as a home, it can lead to families who were at least minimally sheltered into being completely exposed. That is what happened last month to two homeless mothers and their children. The story was covered by multiple local TV news outlets and went viral.

A new audit also shows the policy disproportionately affects the city's most vulnerable residents.


Voice of San Diego senior investigative reporter Lisa Halverstadt has been following the homelessness crisis in San Diego and joined Midday Edition to talk about the city's response.