SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — San Diegans who live in their vehicles say they are fed up with how they're being treated by the city and now they're filing a class action lawsuit.
They're upset over their cars being impounded, getting citations they can't afford to pay and getting, what they call, constant harassment by police.
Those who are homeless and live in RVs led a caravan through Downtown San Diego on Thursday hoping to drive home their message and their plight.
"In San Diego, there's absolutely no place you can go," said Valerie Grischy who lives in an RV. "It is illegal to park anywhere."
A law the city council made permanent in 2016 made it so that there can be no parking on city streets between 2 and 6 a.m. Local disability attorney Ann Menasche is now challenging that law in federal court with a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of homeless people with disabilities who live in RVs.
"In our lawsuit, we are seeking a court order to stop the ticketing until permanent, let me say it again, permanent housing - that is affordable - is made available to our clients and all of the members of our class," Menasche said.
She and her litigation team say the law is unconstitutional and, with grassroots support from The San Diego Housing Emergency Alliance, they're hoping for a win in court.
"This is not a crime: to be poor," said Suzanne Morse from the SD Housing Emergency Alliance. "Stop taking their stuff, stop ticketing them, stop today."
Former chiropractor Valerie Grischy says she had to stop working after a car accident left her with a brain injury and in severe pain. She says she got the point where she was in more pain than her patients and had to quit.
"This is my RV, this is my home," she said. "This is the best I could get from the money I got from disability."
Grischy lives in her RV with her service dog and a cat as she plays cat-and-mouse with the cops.
"I'm happy to at least have an RV to live in," she said. "They take that away from me, I will be one of the homeless living in those tents."
San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott issued the following statement on the matter: