An eyesore in Downtown Fresno is no more

July 16, 2009 6:24:30 PM PDT
"The end to this haven for some of Fresno's homeless" said Mayor Ashley Swearengin, a new start for more dozens of people now live in safe housing.Ashley Swearengin, Fresno Mayor said "There's just been tremendous cooperation, case management, the County, the City the Economic Opportunities Commission, all working together to see the day come about."

All told some 129 former residents are no longer homeless because of that cooperation.

Union Pacific Railroad has its property secured for company use. But for the next 90 days anything left behind here can be retrieved.

Ashley Swearengin, Fresno Mayor said "Folks who do want to reclaim their property will probably do so very quickly but we will store it."

With $3,000,000 dollars in Federal Stimulus Money to address the homeless is now headed to Fresno. With it work will begin on the other camps immediately.

Gregory Barfield, Fresno City Homeless Mgr. said "So we'll be in the F, G and Poverello house area next."

Barfield's job is to coordinate moving the homeless not just out but also up.

The camps are their community, he adds, so accepting help toward a more normal life requires patience from his team.

Gregory Barfield, Fresno City Homeless Mgr. said "We have encampments all over town, people don't realize."

The next phase begins here, with those ready to leave this temporary shelter at the Poverello House for more permanent living.

Gregory Barfield, Fresno City Homeless Mgr. said "We look at it as baby steps, maybe I'm ready to move from a tent today to a shed and then from a shed into housing.

According to city data there may be as many as 200 homeless men women and children scattered around Fresno, most hidden from the general public's eye.

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