Fresno City Council considering proposed city ordinance to ban outdoor camping to combat city's homeless problem

EMBED </>More Videos

The proposed unlawful camping ordinance is seen by Mayor Lee Brand as another way to fight the city's homeless problem. (KFSN)

The proposed unlawful camping ordinance is seen by Mayor Lee Brand as another way to fight the city's homeless problem.

"As long as I am the Mayor of Fresno, we will not surrender to the homeless problem. We will not accept unsanitary and unhealthy encampments, we will not allow aggressive panhandling and criminal acts to occur without a response and consequences."

The ordinance would give police the power to charge street campers who won't move with a crime, because Police Chief Jerry Dyer said many now simply ignore police warnings.

"We have run into a lot of individuals who are simply refusing to pick up their property and refusing to leave the location and have become very, very, defiant."

Dyer hopes the threat of arrest will be enough to get the campers to go to homeless shelters. But homeless advocate Desiree Martinez, with the group Homeless in Fresno, said it is not a real solution.

"There are not enough shelters here, there are not enough beds, and I don't know what's going to happen if they ban camping."

But city council member Steve Brandau believes it is a step the city needs to take.

"Until now, we've been enabling them to live this camping lifestyle and they are rejecting the help that we have for them."

The anti-camping ordinance will be considered by the City Council at their meeting on Thursday.

Related Topics:
politicshomelessFresno City CouncilfresnoFresno - Downtown
(Copyright ©2017 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments
FRESNO
More fresno

POLITICS
More Politics

Top Stories
Show More