FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Fresno’s latest initiative, Project Off-Ramp, is designed to clear homeless encampments along freeways.
Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer said it’s not just about appearance, but safety too.
“618 fires last year on our freeway that our fire department had to respond to and put out,” said Dyer. “We had three individuals who were struck by vehicles and killed this last month, pedestrians on our freeway, homeless population that should not have been there and should be alive today.”
Mayor Dyer says they have been giving out notices all week, letting people in those camps know they have seven days to clear out.
“Even though it’s not our jurisdiction, I started working with the governor’s office, state of California, Caltrans, CHP, utilizing street outreach workers to contact those individuals on the freeway,” said Dyer.
Next week, the city will start placing people into temporary housing in motels through Project Roomkey.
“It’s an off-ramp from the freeway, an off-ramp from the life of homelessness and an on-ramp to housing services and a productive life,” said Dyer.
After Fresno places people into temporary housing, the city will get back with Caltrans and clean up the sides of the freeways and then try to make sure those areas aren’t reoccupied again in the future.