Homeowners along Hwy 180 told it would take three to six months for homeless to be removed

CBS47 On Your Side

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — Homeowners along Highway 180 expressed serious concerns with the homeless living behind their homes.

We first introduced you to Bruce Kneivski last week.

He’s had several run-ins with homeless living behind his property.

After we ran our first story, we were able to get Fresno Police’s Homeless Task Force involved.

What some call a solution, residents are calling a prolonged delay.

The Homeless Task Force told Bruce it could be three to six months before the encampments are cleaned up behind his property.

“It’s just a helpless feeling,” Bruce Kneivski said.

We interviewed Bruce and his neighbors last week about problems they persistently have with homeless who moved in behind them.

“They’ve jumped over my fence to go swim in my swimming pool,” Jimmy Oge, Fresno resident, said.

“They broke into my metal shed in my backyard,” Bruce said.

The neighborhood backs into Highway 180.

Encampments are piled on the embankments.

Homeless are illegally camped out directly behind these homes.

The Homeless Task Force responded to us after sharing last week’s story.

They paid bruce a visit.

“Before, I couldn’t get any answers for anything,” Bruce said. “Not until I talked to Channel 47 On Your Side.”

The task force was able to come out, but could only do so much.

They offered help to the homeless.

We caught up with one who turned down services.

“They said do you need some help and I was like yeah, okay, but I don’t really trust that, it seems really suspicious,” Deon Thomas, homeless in Fresno, said.

Thomas has been homeless for several years.

He says he usually has to move around a few times each month.

But lately, it’s been different.

“I’ve been out here two to three months,” Thomas said.

He has found the highway to be a safe haven.

Many others have to.

The gate leading to this specific embankment has been wide open.

The task force didn’t fix it during their visit because it’s Caltrans jurisdiction.

So the gate and homeless access point remains open.

Caltrans has partnered with the city for Project Off Ramp.

They are currently cleaning Highway 41.

“I just hope they don’t put us on the back shelf here who live on Harvey,” Bruce said. “Us on the backside of Highway 180, I hope they don’t forget us.”

As officials tell these residents, give it three to six months, that’s three to six months for the homeless to continue to camp.

Mayor Jerry Dyer has been very adamant about removing the homeless from the highways.

He said just yesterday he hopes for the highways to be cleaned within 60 days.

Bruce and neighbors say the sooner the better.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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