COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The availability of limited parking for employees and residents at the Springs Rescue Mission requires a strict towing policy, but two women say the policy is too strict.
The women say they received notices on their vehicles Monday, warning that they would be towed in two days unless they have proper license plates and tags.
One woman, a resident at the shelter, says she had a temporary tag on her vehicle that blew away, and is now now waiting for her permanent plates to be mailed to her. But she worries her vehicle will be towed before then.
Another resident, Dorian McGowan, says she parks her van at the shelter during the day and moves it to a nearby tire shop parking lot at night.
McGowan says she's waiting for her plates to arrive, as well, but the process likely will take more than two days because of slower service due to the COVID-19 pandemic at Department of Motor Vehicles offices.
"I was told three to four weeks," she says. "The shelter is supposed to notify us before they put a (warning) tag on a vehicle, but they didn't. We found out from someone else. The same thing happened to my fiance'."
"I had the same issue when I moved here," says Brandon Clark, a third SRM resident who has a vehicle parked on the premises. "Fortunately, I had the money at the time to take care of everything. But many people who live here, don't have the means to take care of it. The (SRM) requires vehicle owners to have a permit to park here. That should be enough."
McGowan says towing costs can be nearly $300.
As of Wednesday evening, the vehicles hadn't been towed.
SRM spokesman Travis Williams says officials are talking with the two affected vehicle owners in hopes of avoiding tows.
"We're staying in touch with them, asking them what their situation is and how long it will take them to get the necessary identification," he said. "Most of our residents don't have vehicles, but many of those who do are driven illegally. in disrepair or don't have proper identification. With hundreds of people in and out every day and needing help, we want to keep the place safe and clean."
The Mission averages more than 300 residents during summer, and construction for an expansion project has further reduced parking. Las Vegas Street in front of the shelter is a no-parking zone.
"When we finish with that project, there won't be a parking lot," Williams says. "It will become a courtyard. We still haven't figured out how to address parking after that."