Occupy Fresno and homeless join forces

FRESNO, Calif.

City crews started clearing out homeless encampments in Downtown Fresno. People living there were told to leave by Friday morning, but many of them have already moved on

Downtown Fresno's Courthouse Park has been home to the Occupy Fresno movement for nearly three weeks straight. Now, people once living in homeless encampments have joined their cause.

"The struggle is real."

A man, who goes by the first name "J" arrived here Thursday night. He left a nearby homeless encampment, after the city sent out workers and heavy equipment to start cleaning up the area.

Gregory Barfield with City of Fresno said, "There's a lot of trash here, that regardless of who's here. It still needs to be removed."

"J" said, "I can pitch up my tent and move it to another spot, and after the clean up what they're gonna clean up, bring my tent back to the same spot."

The city's cleanup efforts were met with a lot of criticism. Dozens of protesters, many from the Occupy Fresno movement, organized an effort to stop it from moving forward. When that didn't work, they encouraged those without a place to go, to join them at Courthouse Park.

Courtney Lopez with Occupy Fresno said, "We were going to do everything we possibly could to stop the state from coming in and destroying everything, but if it failed they have a place to go."

At least, for the time being. This week, Fresno County officials sent out a notice, warning them to leave by Tuesday.

As for the encampment clean-up effort, that will resume Friday morning. City officials say they have offered the homeless temporary and transitional housing.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.