There are numerous motor homes that have been more visible in Los Angeles over the past couple of years, which are a reflection of the increasing number of homeless people living in motor homes. The increasing number of motor homes has also lead to the increase in people calling tow companies to remove motor homes off the streets. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority claims that 2,363 people across the city live in the motor homes, which is a 20 percent increase from 2016. Because of the increase in motor homes, there are less tow companies that are willing to do the work, due to the unsanitary conditions of the vehicles. Detective Benjamin Jones, who runs the Los Angeles Police Department’s towing service, stated:
I don’t think it’s people saying they don’t like the homeless. It’s the secondary effects. It’s the garbage, needles, feces, urine. They’re often overwhelmed by the odor.
The city is currently in a bit of a problem, because a pair of towing contractors quit earlier this year. The towing companies cited the unsanitary conditions of the vehicles and the inability to recoup the cost of towing them as their reason for quitting. The city is left with one company in Wilmington called Pepe’s Towing to handle all of the city’s towing jobs for vehicles heavier than 10,000 pounds. In response, the city instituted a so-called “emergency stop” on the towing of motor homes, which means that unless the vehicle is tied to a crime or traffic accident, city departments must make an appointment to have the vehicles hauled away. Last year, about 83 motor homes a month were being impounded in Los Angeles. This is an issue that needs to be fixed, and it starts with the homelessness issue.