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Central Valley | Health, Housing, and Public Services

Homeless Encampment Eviction Takes Place near West and Ashlan in Fresno
by Mike Rhodes ( editor [at] fresnoalliance.com )
Wednesday Jul 17th, 2013 11:41 AM
The photo below was what I saw as I arrived at the canal bank. The operation was already underway and as far as I could tell, the Fresno Irrigation District crew was destroying everything in this homeless encampment.

A small group of homeless people, living on a canal bank near West and Ashlan avenue in Fresno, had their property taken today. Several dogs were also removed by the SPCA.

When I arrived at about 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 the operation was already well under way. Most of the structures had been pulled out of the protective shrubbery on the southwest side of the canal bank. A bulldozer was busy picking up homeless peoples property and putting in a dump truck.

I asked Murray, who said he was a supervisor for the Fresno Irrigation District, if they were saving any of the property. He said they had not found anything of value yet, but I think my question got him thinking about the implications of their actions. Murray said that they had put notices up informing the homeless people that they were going to “clean up.” I asked for a copy of the notice and he said he didn’t have one.

I walked away for a moment to take some photos and when I came back the driver of the machine with the large claw (see photo above) said “we don’t have time for this shit. Call the police.”

Someone (probably Murray) must have convinced the crew that they better make a show for the press, because then they started going through the shopping carts and putting things aside, which they said they were going to save.

The Fresno Irrigation District frequently destroys homeless encampments. It is rare when someone photographs them in the act. I suspect that it is unheard of that someone would follow up and see if they actually did store any property. Does anyone reading this think I should follow up?

###

Mike Rhodes is the editor of the Community Alliance newspaper. He can be reached by email at editor [at] fresnoalliance.com .
§Total Destruction - nothing was being saved
by Mike Rhodes Wednesday Jul 17th, 2013 11:41 AM

§The FID Crew takes a second look
by Mike Rhodes Wednesday Jul 17th, 2013 11:41 AM

These shopping carts were eventually pushed to the side. I was told that the property was going to be saved.
§Shelter from the Storm
by Mike Rhodes Wednesday Jul 17th, 2013 11:41 AM

This homeless shelter had already been gone through by the FID crew, but not destroyed yet. It gives you an idea of the living conditions in this homeless encampment. All photos by Mike Rhodes.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Georgia Williams
Wednesday Jul 17th, 2013 3:44 PM
Yes, follow up! It seems that when the city can't do its own dirty work in destroying the lives and belongings of those who have so little, someone else takes on the task. Someone needs to hold the District accountable.

Can you imagine what could be done if we were to all join in a plan to help ALL homeless? Legal campsites, transitional housing, and permanent housing are all needed. The city, however, does its best to cut off the process at its beginning--legal campsites.
by One who cares
Wednesday Jul 17th, 2013 10:47 PM
I have re-posted the article at my radio show's website as "Fresno undertakes another attack against homeless folks' encampment", and will mention it along with the context concerning HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE in Fresno
by John
Saturday Jul 20th, 2013 10:00 AM
I'm interested to know what the people living in the homes in the background of these pictures think of these homeless camps and their removal.
by Mike Rhodes
( editor [at] fresnoalliance.com ) Sunday Jul 21st, 2013 4:44 PM
July 22, 2013

GARY R. SERRATO
GENERAL MANAGER
Fresno Irrigation District
2907 South Maple Avenue
Fresno, CA 93725

Dear Mr. Serrato:

I am writing to request a copy of the following records under the California Public Records Act (Government Code §§ 6250 et seq.):

Information pertaining to the clean up of the homeless encampment that took place on the morning and early afternoon of Wednesday, July 17, 2013. This clean up took place on a canal bank near Ashlan and West Avenue in Fresno. I’m requesting information about what if any property was saved and where it is currently stored. I’m requesting a copy of the notice posted to announce the clean up.

As you may know, the California Public Records Act obligates you to respond to this request within ten days, by either providing all the requested information or providing a written response setting forth the specific legal authority on which you rely in failing to disclose each document. The Act applies to all documents in the agency’s possession, regardless of who authored them. If you expect that it will take significantly longer to locate some documents than others, please provide the readily available documents as soon as they are ready, without delaying to locate the remaining documents.

If I can provide any clarification that will help expedite your attention to this request, please contact me at (559) 978-4502.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Mike Rhodes
Community Alliance newspaper
P.O. Box 5077
Fresno Ca 93755
(559) 978-4502
AllianceEditor [at] comcast.net
by noname
Monday Jul 22nd, 2013 5:31 PM
"just doing my job " is what those those heartless workers probably said ,sounds familiar huh where have i heard that before --------- if i remember correctly there was a huge event a few months ago about homelessness, to stop this type of events from happening.i ask where are all the so called activists putting their lives at risk trying to stop that machine?




by Dan Waterhouse
Monday Jul 29th, 2013 7:06 PM
...today that the three major encampments downtown will be removed. The Fresno Bee reports they will be duly posted and then cleared. Bruce Rudd, the new city manager, told reporters encampments will no longer be allowed in the City of Fresno. He told news media at today's press conference "no mas" to cutting deals with homeless advocates to help manage encampment issues. The story is currently available on line at the Bee website.