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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Central Valley | Health, Housing, and Public Services
Sharen “Big Sue” Bobbitt died on December 28, 2011. Big Sue was homeless and died on the sidewalk outside of the Poverello House, a homeless service center in downtown Fresno. The photo below is Big Sue. Photo credit: Dixie Salazar
The context of Big Sue’s death is that it comes as the City of Fresno has destroyed all of the homeless encampments in the downtown area, so many homeless people like her, have no choice but to sleep on the sidewalk. The temperature in Fresno on the morning Big Sue died was 30 degrees. Many other homeless people have caught pneumonia since the destruction of their shelters. Indymedia is attempting to find out how many more homeless people have died in the aftermath of the city’s most recent attack against them. It is worth noting that the City of Fresno, unlike in previous years, did not set up warming centers for the homeless this year. The warming centers, if they were available, might have saved Big Sue’s life.
We are waiting to hear the cause of death, but sleeping on the sidewalk in the freezing cold could not have helped Big Sue. To see The Fresno Bee story about her death, go to: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/01/03/2669581/homeless-advocate-in-fresno-dies.html#storylink=misearch . For information about the City of Fresno’s ongoing attacks on the homeless, see: http://fresnoalliance.com/wordpress/?p=1313
This interview was conducted by Robert (not sure of his last name) on December 15 with Big Sue, right after the City of Fresno police and sanitation workers came through the Santa Clara and F street area taking and immediately destroying homeless peoples property.
This was an interview I did with Big Sue about conditions on the street, homelessness, and the City of Fresno’s lack of cooperation in helping to keep the homeless encampments clean. The interview took place in October 2010.
This is video from December 15 showing the City of Fresno sanitation workers taking and destroying a couch that had been used by the homeless on Santa Clara and E street.