Tent City Residents Get New Home

July 2, 2009 8:05:03 PM PDT
Monday the city of Fresno relocated more of the city's homeless population. Many of the tenants living in the tent city along h street downtown have moved into new homes. Action News reporter John-Thomas Kobos show us when the city expects to relocate everyone and what could hold up the move. Arnold Sanchez and Rick Martinez are new tenants at this downtown Fresno apartment complex. Up until Thursday morning they were two homeless friends living in this tent city along H street.

"I just need a place where I can get my feet on the ground," said Sanchez.

Their move was made possible through the city's general fund. Gregory Barfield with Fresno's homeless prevention program said there is enough money to keep each person in an apartment for four months.

"There's case management that's wrapped around them. There's supportive services that we're linking everyone to," said Barfield.

Which means job opportunities and health care assistance, just two of the many things Sanchez has lived without for 7 years. Now he has a bathroom, a kitchen and a refrigerator.

So far the city has relocated 45 of the homeless people living along H street. However, a few are holding out or simply waiting their turn to move.

Homeless resident James Miller: "We already filled out the paper work and now we're just waiting, next in line hopefully."

The city expects its biggest challenge be relocating the 60 transients that live underneath this overpass. They say drugs are a rampant problem here. But they must all out by July 13th.

That is the deadline Union Pacific Rail Line gave the city to remove people from their land. Once everyone has been relocated the city will move over to G and F streets. The goal is to get everyone living in a place just like Sanchez and long time friend Martinez.

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