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Cleaning Up Fresno Homeless Camps

The City of Fresno began cleaning up one of three homeless encampments in Downtown Fresno Monday, and will continue clearing them all month.
Another cleanup mission is underway in Downtown Fresno.

Cleanup crews cleared one of three homeless encampments Monday.

CBS47’s Lemor Abrams has the latest on the cleanup effort off Santa Clara and G Streets, near the Poverello House.

Shopping carts, clothes, blankets, beds...and a forklift to clear it all out.

The city gave residents of this homeless encampment a heads up a month ago...

“Knocking it all down, cleaning up the neighborhood but to me it's just surface cleaning,” said Sandy Noriega.

The encampment was home to Sandy Noriega for over a year.

Not by choice she says.

“Now that I don't have a somewhat safe place to put my stuff...it's just going to be out in the open, who's going to watch my stuff so I can go work...look for work?,” said Noriega.

The city says it was forced to clear the area because of a recent rise in crime.

Police have made hundreds of arrests in recent weeks, and have taken weapons off the street.

“The status quo really isn't acceptable anymore. We have serious health and safety out here,” said City of Fresno Spokesman Mike Lukens.

The city has faced lawsuits by homeless advocates in the past.

And the question now, where will they go?

City officials emphasize they're working with the housing authority to give these folks a temporary place to stay.

“Thus far we've housed about 51 people. Some of them we've hooked up with the veterans affairs which is exciting...some pregnant women,” said Doreen Eley of the Fresno Housing Authority.

They hope to house at least a hundred more homeless people by the end of the year, but those forced to find shelter... in these hot and dangerous conditions...don't like any of it.

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Fresno, CA

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