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Homeless seek assistance before encampment cleanup

The Poverello House is open every Wednesday from 9:30-3:30pm for people to sign up for assistance.
An outreach was held at the Poverello House on Wednesday, one day after notices were posted at three encampments, saying the City of Fresno would clear them out in about a month.  $1.5 million dollars in private and public money is available for housing those who’ll be left without a home.

Candice Russell and Ashley Weed are homeless.  They've been a couple for about three months.  They help each other survive the tough life on the streets of Fresno.

“I feel invisible when I’m on the streets, like nobody sees us, nobody cares.  We're people too.  We're human,” said Russell.

Several homeless encampments are scheduled to be cleared out in about a month, leaving thousands without a home.  On Wednesday, the Housing Authority invited the homeless to the Poverello House to be put on a list for help.  Russell came, in part, to try and get her 12-year-old son back from Child Protective Services.

“I need a home.  I need a home for my little boy to come home because it breaks my heart every day that he's gone,” said Russell.

The Fresno Rescue Mission says it has room for 50 men right now.  Reverend Larry Arce guarantees work and housing assistance at the end of a one year program.

“We'd love to help those individuals but it's up to them to want it.  And that's the concern; people wanting to get a way out where they're at.  They're stuck,” said Arce.

Russell and Weed worry shelters for women may not take them together.

“She would get better help if we were separated or I would get better help if we were separated and it's like, come on.  Nowadays, it should be equal,” said Weed.

The Poverello House is open from 9:30am-3:30pm every Wednesday for people to sign up for assistance.

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Fresno, CA

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