Neighbors, Politicians Speak Out After High Speed Rail Vacant Lots Attract Homeless Encampments

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FRESNO, Calif. — A homeless encampment filled with nearly 30 tents, trash, needles and dogs roaming around has moved in next to Fresno resident, Amber Hillman.

“It is scary. I feel like our safety is in danger,” said Amber Hillman, resident. 

It’s across the street from the Zoo on Golden State. The vacant lot is owned by the High Speed Rail authority. Because nothing has been built on it yet it has attracted the homeless. Hillman said she has already seen too much. 

“Needles, they use the bathroom out here, they start fires,” said Amber Hillman, Lives nearby homeless encampment. 

Hillman said it started a few months ago but in the last 2 weeks she said the encampment has started to spread. 

She called the high speed rail, but she says their response was unacceptable. 

“They cannot remove the belongings they cannot higher security there is no money in the budget,” said Hillman. 

In a statement given to us the High Speed Rail association says :

“The Authority continues to work closely with the California Highway Patrol to address homeless encampments that have been set up on high-speed rail property in Fresno.”

Hillman then called Assemblyman Jim Patterson to help with the cause.

“The high speed rail authority has to take responsibility for their property just the same way the city and county makes other property owners take care of their property,” said Assemblymember Jim Patterson. 

Both Hillman and Patterson hope by speaking out it will get the attention of the high speed rail to act quickly. 

“Either utilize it or get rid of it,” said Hillman. 

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