Vehicles towed as Midtown Anchorage homeless camp clearing continues

Vehicle towing began Tuesday as part of the Municipality of Anchorage’s ongoing clearing of an extensive homeless camp in Midtown.

Alaska Towing and Wrecking owner Glen Bailey said the company removed nine cars, five RVs and one trailer on its first day working the lot adjacent to Cuddy Family Midtown Park.

Bailey said the Anchorage Police Department determines which vehicles are hauled away. APD gives the company a list each day as part of its citywide contract.

Several police officers oversaw the removal Tuesday. Nearby, a loader hauled items and debris with help from an Anchorage Parks and Recreation cleanup crew.

In one instance, two men hurried to pull belongings from a car just before it was dragged onto a flatbed for transport. Elsewhere, a woman worked under an RV hood, cheering when it momentarily started. In the parking lot of Cuddy Park, a tow truck driver helped inflate the tires of a vehicle so its occupants could move it themselves with a tow strap and help from a friend.

Bailey said the towed vehicles are transported and held at the company’s storage lot. He said about 5% of vehicles are eventually claimed.

“They’re held until we get a list to crush them,” he said. “I’ve had some for a year.”


Clearing of the camp near Denali Street and East 40th Avenue began April 30. City officials said they expected the process to take weeks. The city’s homeless coordinator has cited public health and safety concerns as legal justification for clearing the encampment. Many people who had been staying there have already left the area.

[Previously: Uncertainty looms for people living at large Midtown homeless camp as clearing begins]

Bailey said he encountered no conflicts with car owners Tuesday. Abatement work isn’t something his company did five years ago, he said.

“I never really expected to be cleaning out homeless camps when I bid on the contract,” he said.

Marc Lester

Marc Lester is a multimedia journalist for Anchorage Daily News. Contact him at