On Tuesday, April 12th, deputies with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Civil Unit conducted a homeless encampment cleanup operation. It occurred in an open field at the southeast corner of W. Shields Ave. and N. Valentine Ave. in Fresno.
The encampment had been growing during the last year and the Sheriff’s Office has received many complaints from local residents and the property owner. There are between one and two dozen people illegally occupying the property at any given time. Outsiders have also turned it into a dumping ground for all sorts of trash. Workers recovered hundreds of used needles on the property.
On April 4th, deputies posted notices to vacate the area. This was to allow folks ample time to collect their belongings prior to deputies arriving Tuesday morning. Everyone remaining on Tuesday, which was about eight people, were escorted off the property. Additional items left behind which were identified as belonging to an occupant were collected and placed in storage. Occupants will have the next 90 days to retrieve their remaining possessions. They can do this by contacting the Sheriff’s Office.
Staff members of the Poverello House and Fresno Madera Continuum of Care have been and will continue to be participating in this process to ensure a positive outcome. Advocates visited the location to assist the homeless and explain the resources available to them in regards to housing placement. However, it is solely their choice to accept the help being offered.
Once the cleanup is complete, Sheriff’s deputies will be patrolling the area on a regular basis to ensure that a homeless encampment is not reestablished in this area.
Members Fresno Police, Kerman Police, Fresno County Public Works and Environmental Health also assisted in the process.
Below are some before and after photos.