Fresno City, Fresno County working to stop homeless encampments from relocating

Jessica Harrington Image
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Fresno officials addressing concerns of homeless encampments moving
Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer says they never intend to displace people from the city to the county or vice versa.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- ABC30 is taking action to share more stories that matter to you, including how the city of Fresno and Fresno County are addressing concerns about homeless encampments that move from one area to another.

A Southeast Fresno neighborhood that lives on the border between the city and county, it's become challenging.

People who live near Highway 180 and Temperance Avenue say they have been watching a homeless encampment grow just down the street on Kings Canyon Avenue, east of Temperance.

"When it comes close, you start to worry about things like security and things like that," said Mike Engle who lives nearby.

He's lived at his home for 13 years.

Recently, he said more people experiencing homelessness have been moving closer to his home, bringing with them tents and piles of trash.

"There's at a least three tents. I don't know, it's like 8-10 people as far as I can tell and a dog," Engel said.

He said the latest people to move in along a canal bank came from the homeless encampment along Kings Canyon Avenue, just east of Temperance.

The County of Fresno cleaned it up last Friday.

Some of those individuals moved up the road, others moved across the street to Engel's neighborhood and into city territory.

"It's going to take a collective approach, all of us really working together to solve this problem," said Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig.

Magsig said the county is working on more solutions for homelessness.

Tuesday morning, the board approved changing a person's job title from Principal Administrative Analyst to Project Administrator Homeless Liason.

He said the county also recently purchased 165 beds to house individuals who are experiencing homelessness, but it's still not enough.

"Right now there are so many homeless that we have that we're dealing with, there are more people who would like a bed than beds are available," said Magsig.

Mayor Jerry Dyer said the city hit a milestone Tuesday. It has now housed 300 people who were experiencing homelessness, but adds there's still work to do.

"Until enough housing is available, and that is on the way, we're going to have a certain degree of displacement because that's honestly how we've been dealing with the homeless population for far too long," Dyer said.

Mayor Dyer said they never intend to displace people from the city to the county or vice versa. He's asking residents to be patient as they continue their work.

"We have a plan. We have partnerships. We have the funding, but all of that is going to take time for this to work right." Dyer said.

If you see an encampment that is not being addressed, you can reach out to officials to let them know.

City residents can report it on the FresGO app or call 311.

County residents can report it on the Fresno County website here.