Project Off-Ramp makes major progress clearing homeless encampments along Fresno highways

Local News

FRESNO, California. (KSEE) The City of Fresno’s effort to relocate people experiencing homelessness away from the freeways is near complete.

On Monday morning, another 33 people were moved into motel rooms as part of the city’s Project Off-ramp program.

“We have so much more to do but we are well on our way to completing that, this week,” said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.

Standing near Highway 99 and Kern Street, Dyer announced by the end of the week, everyone living off the freeways will have been relocated.

“We will make sure any individual in Fresno who chooses to have a room and chooses to have services will have that opportunity and that is our commitment, that’s our goal,” said Dyer.

Since Project Off-Ramp began in January, 318 people have been moved into shelters and into hotel rooms thanks to the state’s Project Roomkey.

“Being out here in this triple-digit heat is not healthy and it’s a major risk for them,” said Poverello House Chief Executive Officer Zack Darrah.

The Poverello House says 76% of people contacted by outreach workers have accepted their services, a success rate they credit to their compassionate approach.

“Through Project Off-Ramp, I hope we have given the community an opportunity to see every homeless person belongs to somebody. They are someone’s brother, mother, son daughter, family member, spouse,” said Poverello House Chief Programs Officer Sarah Mirhadi.

Mayor Dyer says many people get reacquainted with family, others get vouchers for stable housing and services.

“The long-term goal obviously is to have everyone gainfully employed, to beat their addictions, to overcome any mental health issues they have, and to have a productive life,” explained Mayor Dyer.

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