WORLD Radio’s The World and Everything in It finished airing last week its five-part series on the regional winners of the 2018 Hope Awards for Effective Compassion. Listen to reports on the Colorado Burma Roundtable Network in Denver, Colo.; Jericho Partnership in Danbury, Conn.; Jump Start in Spartanburg, S.C.; Windswept Academy in Eagle Butte, S.D.; and the Aquila Rehab Center in Hanoi, Vietnam. Also read WORLD Magazine’s profiles published in its Aug. 4 issue. Then cast your vote for the ministry that moves you the most. The winning ministry will receive a $10,000 grand prize, while each of the regional winners takes home $2,000 each. Voting ends Sept. 8. —Mickey McLean
San Diego is fighting a class-action lawsuit arguing that local laws forbidding overnight parking of recreational vehicles on city streets discriminate against homeless disabled people.
In November 2017, 11 homeless plaintiffs filed the suit, claiming the city violated their civil rights by ticketing and impounding their only dwelling: RVs. San Diego restricts access to free overnight “safe lots” to homeless people living in non-RV vehicles, and a 2014 city ordinance banned RVs from parking on city streets between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. The plaintiffs said they cannot afford to pay the nightly or monthly fee at RV parks.
In June, U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Battaglia ruled the class-action suit could proceed, stating the city’s statute “can violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act if it disparately impacts or places a disproportionate burden on the disabled.” The plaintiffs argued their disabilities mean they cannot afford to rent and cannot access shelters with stairs.
“People on fixed incomes have few affordable housing options, and if an RV or other vehicle is their only available shelter, local governments should not make that option illegal,” said Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, one of the organizations that filed the suit
Others argued RVs are a way to keep disabled homeless people off the streets and sheltered.
But some local residents said the restriction on RV overnight parking has helped the community, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
At a July 26 hearing on the suit, Battaglia said he needed more time to consider before issuing a temporary injunction lifting the overnight parking ban until the suit is settled. He worried it could motivate RV owners to take their vehicles out of paid private lots and park them for free on city streets. An attorney for the city urged the judge to delay his decision, stating the city has been working with a nonprofit organization and soon plans to provide a safe lot for free overnight RV parking for homeless individuals. —R.H.