FRESNO, California (KGPE) – The owners of a downtown Fresno bakery are at their wits end. They say the homeless are camping out behind their business and leaving garbage, using their outdoor faucet and starting fires.
Hye Quality Bakery has called downtown Fresno home for 62 years. The family run business is best known for its Armenian food, and cracker bread.
“I have to say in all those years we have never had any problems,” said owner Sammy Ganimian.
But recently, new tenants have moved in out back and left piles of garbage.
Ganimian says the homeless encampment behind the bakery is on Caltrans property and assumes the reason nothing is being done about it is because the encampment is not visible for drivers on the nearby freeway. Ganimian says he’s contacted them, the city, police, the highway patrol and has never gotten a response or solid plan for clean up.
“I called Caltrans, I called the city of Fresno, I called the Highway Patrol, I called the 311 number for the city of Fresno that’s supposed to help get rid of this stuff and the people and they haven’t been responding,” said Ganimian.
Ganimian says earlier this week there was a fire in the middle of the night, that burned the side of the building.
“Had it been ten more minutes and the whole building would have gone down,” said Ganimian.
He says they aren’t just invading their space, but also using their utilities.
“The city of Fresno called us and said you are using too much water. Well it was because they were using our faucets to bathe drink water get water whatever,” said co-owner Paula Ganimian.
A spokesperson for the City of Fresno says there are no records of this call.
Paula says she no longer feels safe working late into the night like she once did.
“Today when it gets dark I’m out of here,” said Paula.
UPDATE: The City of Fresno and Caltrans began clean up efforts Monday November 25. Ganimian also has also been in contact with Mayor Lee Brand about resolving the issue.