Mayor Dyer cleaning up homeless encampments, looking to clean up Highway 99 next

'It makes us feel safer, and it looks very much more clean.'
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Homeless encampments across the city are starting to disappear.

It's been part of Mayor Jerry Dyer's plan since taking office to clean up the living areas and provide housing for those who want it.

Areas along freeways in Fresno and in neighborhoods have seen their fair share of homeless encampments, but over the last several months, a clean-up across the city has been underway.

"It makes us feel safer, and it looks very much more clean," says Emily Campos.

She has a new outlook on her neighborhood. Just three weeks ago she discussed concerns about the homeless encampment right across the street from her home on East Tyler Avenue, adjacent to Highway 180.

It was filled with tents and, according to Fresno police, pounds of marijuana and illegal gaming machines.

RELATED: Illegal gambling machines, guns, drugs found in Fresno homeless encampment

Now, it's completely cleared out.

"Now, like yesterday, there was people passing by here with their dogs and I was like, 'It went back to normal!'" says Campos.

It's been part of Mayor Jerry Dyer's plan to clean up Fresno and house those experiencing homelessness. So far, Highway 41, East Tyler Avenue and an area known as 'The Triangle' near Ventura Street where Golden State Boulevard merges onto Highway 99 have all been cleaned up.

"It excites me to know that the people who lived, or who live, in those areas who have had to see that every single day can now go out and enjoy their neighborhood again," says Mayor Dyer.
He says more than 225 people have been housed in city-owned motels. Overall 73% of people have accepted services.

He says the struggle has been finding a way to get through to those who have refused help because they move from one place to the other.

"As a result of that, they become problematic to other neighborhoods so we are going to continue to offer services to them and housing in hopes that eventually they will, they'll take advantage of those," says Mayor Dyer.

For those already reaping the benefits, they're proud of their city and neighborhood once again.

"We're glad to see this because it's been awhile that there was a lot of homeless. It was a long time," says Campos.

Mayor Dyer says officers are doing weekly patrols to keep encampments out of the areas they've cleaned up. Their next focus will be on cleaning up Highway 99.
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