BNSF cleans up homeless camps around Fresno County

News

The largest freight railroad network in North America is taking action in cleaning up homeless encampments around Fresno County.

BNSF launched project Safe Distance to help highlight this critical issue around the county.

BNSF Senior Special Agent Israel Salazar told county officials they’re doing there part to keep their rail line trash-free around the Central Valley.

” We are now up to 50 homeless encampments removals in Fresno County this year,” Salazar said.

Today, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors presented the railroad company with a plaque for their hardwork at addressing this issue.

“BNSF has been a tremendous partner, compassionately addressing encampments adjacent to the railroad,” District 5 Supervisor Nathan Magsig said.

According to BNSF, the railroad company have removed 293 of the 304 homeless encampments reported on their property so far this year.
33 of those encampments were in Fresno.

Merced and Fresno were in the top five cities with high number of homeless encampments.

“BNSF has cleaned up encampments more than once and has identified area that need to be harden a little bit perhaps it needs a fence in that area as oppose to an open location,” Fresno County Principal Administrative Analyst Sonia De La Rosa said.

De La Rosa said the county will usually go out with BNSF during clean up and offer resources provided by the county to those living in the encampments.

“We found that it’s going to take multiple times for us to communicate with the people who are at the sites to try to convince them to accept services,” she said.

People living on site do have 72 hours to leave the property.

If you have a homeless encampment in your neighborhood you can report it to Fresno County or the city of Fresno.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com