‘What do they expect us to do?’ Sacramento homeless notified to move vehicles or be towed

Those living in cars and RVs were notified to move or be towed, this time near Roseville Road in North Sacramento.

By: Barbara Bingley/ABC10

Those living in cars and RVs on the streets of Sacramento were notified to move or be towed, this time near Roseville Road in North Sacramento. This comes after a city council vote to nix such notifications was denied.

They tag our vehicles, they tell us if we don’t move it we’ll lose it,” said Earl May, who had been living unhoused in Sacramento since 2011. “In other words, they’ll come in, they’ll impound our vehicles and put us out on the street.” 

May lived in his van, usually on Grand Ave under I-80 in North Sacramento, across the train tracks from Roseville Road where several homeless encampments lined the street. 

He got a notice of intent to tow from Sacramento code enforcement on Wednesday morning, citing expired registration and 72 hours of being in the same spot. He said he moved his van down the block to another street, and then got another notice, his second in a day. 

“What do they expect us to do?,” May asked. “That’s what I’d like to know.”

On Tuesday, that question was left unanswered when Sacramento City Council debated an idea that would prevent the city from towing vehicles belonging to unhoused people living in Sacramento unless shelter, housing, or a designated location where they can park was offered. The proposal was ultimately turned down by city council.

People living in vehicles and encampments along the stretch of Grand Ave and Roseville Road had become a common sight in North Sacramento. When ABC10 reached out to city officials for the reason for the notices, they responded with a link to the City of Sacramento’s Frequently Asked Questions, where it states: 

“Persons experiencing homelessness who use vehicles as shelter are subject to the same traffic laws and parking regulations as are the owners and operators of all other vehicles.”