top
Central Valley
Central Valley
Indybay
Indybay
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Indybay
Regions
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
Topics
Newswire
Calendar
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
THE CITY OF FRESNO MOVES TO EVICT HOMELESS FROM TENT CITY
by Mike Rhodes (MikeRhodes [at] Comcast.net)
Saturday Jan 31st, 2004 7:04 PM
The City of Fresno moves to outlaw poverty and evict the homeless when they form a community.
homeless_in_fresno.jpg
THE CITY OF FRESNO MOVES TO EVICT HOMELESS FROM TENT CITY
By Mike Rhodes
January 31, 2004

The Fresno Police Department (FPD) is making plans to destroy a tent city the homeless have built in the downtown area. The settlement that has been allowed to develop South of Ventura near F street was built when the City shifted its policy toward the homeless about 2 months ago. Instead of harassing the homeless whenever they put up a tent or piece of plastic, the FPD started allowing the structures to remain. There was even talk at City Hall about opening up some of the abandoned buildings to allow the homeless to get out of the cold and rain.

In a front page story in today’s Fresno Bee
http://www.fresnobee.com/local/story/8071498p-8931064c.html and in conversations I had with several homeless people at the tent city this afternoon, the destruction of these homes in eminent. The Bee claims that there are problems with drugs, alcoholism, and crime because of the concentration of homeless people in a small area. The plan is to force those currently living in the tent city into a closely monitored facility owned by the Poverello House. The Poverello house serves meals and provides clothing and other services. Some of the homeless people I talked to said they would not be forced into what they described as a concentration camp.

The FPD has given residents of the tent city until Monday (February 2, 2004) to dismantle their community. On Tuesday they will move in and destroy every dwelling that the homeless are currently living in. There has been no more talk about opening up unused buildings and it is not clear what the homeless will do on Tuesday. There are clearly not enough beds in this areas homeless shelters to accommodate the increasing population of people living on the street. Even if there were enough beds, not every homeless person would choose to stay at one of the homeless shelters for the night.

The expectation is that the FPD will go back to its old policy of moving homeless people on and destroying any semi-permanent dwellings that are built. The problems with that policy are obvious - homeless people have no place to store their possessions, they often times don’t have a place to get out of the cold and rain, and there is no sense of community. When the City of Fresno allowed the establishment of a tent city in this abandoned area of downtown we all knew it was not a solution to the problems of homelessness - but it was a more humane response.

What prompted the City of Fresno to reverse its policy is not known. I will go back to the tent city on Tuesday to get more information and see what happens when the FPD moves in to destroy this poor people’s community.
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
abusem huddTuesday Jul 14th, 2009 9:11 PM
Recovery, a National PrioritySamantha-HopeThursday Nov 9th, 2006 9:34 PM
and yet moreScottFriday Feb 6th, 2004 9:47 AM
scottinterestedFriday Feb 6th, 2004 9:22 AM
A little moreScottFriday Feb 6th, 2004 8:39 AM
scottstill interestedThursday Feb 5th, 2004 8:57 PM
suggestion for truly interestedScottThursday Feb 5th, 2004 12:31 PM
so, what do you suggesttruely interestedThursday Feb 5th, 2004 10:31 AM
Response to Valley BoyMike RhodesWednesday Feb 4th, 2004 12:09 PM
vagrant removalvalley boyWednesday Feb 4th, 2004 10:44 AM
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

Donate

donate now

$ 135.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.

Publish

Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network