The Problem of Predatory Towing
by Dan Quakkelaar
A single mother loads her car with clothing. It's late, and she wants to get an early start in the morning. It's the kids clothes. She washes them once a week at the laundromat, and tomorrow is wash day. But when she gets up in the morning the car is gone.
Upset, she calls the police to report the car stolen, but finds instead that her car wasn’t stolen at all. It was towed. Although her street is not marked, she was ticketed for parking in front of her house, and the unpaid ticket resulted in her car being towed. The price to get the car back is $300, plus $12.50 per day “storage” at the lot, plus at least $50 toward the parking ticket. She can't afford any of it.
So, the city takes possession of her car and dispose of it as they wish, as an auction car or as scrap. The proceeds pay for the tow, storage, ticket, and perhaps a little more for the city coffers. She is not allowed to retrieve the kid's clothing, or anything else in the car. It's all gone.
This story happens all over Milwaukee every night. It's quite profitable for the city, especially among the poor. Oftentimes tickets are forgotten about, or mothers are unable to pay them.
Once the car is lost, so is the job, travel to daycare. It's a major hit to a family to lose their transportation.
Certainly parking laws should be obeyed, and fines should be paid, but it is often in Milwaukee that this kind of towing happens, mainly in poor neighborhoods. One might say that the poor are targeted, as they have no resources to fight back.
It's an opportunity for the church, though, who can show the love of Christ to a young single mom. This is the dream of Lawrence Winters, Lenders 2 Yahweh and Friends of Sinners Church, and a great opportunity to restore the reputation of the church among the poor Jesus came to save.
Please pray for us as we attempt to understand this problem, and figure out how to prevent the tow in the first place, or replace cars confiscated from the poor by our government. If you would like to be involved, contact Lenders 2 Yahweh or Friends of Sinners Church. 414-502-9899.
“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10