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City of Fresno creates new team to attack the homeless problem

KMPH – Fresno-Visalia logo KMPH – Fresno-Visalia 1/26/2022 Rich Rodriguez
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The City of Fresno is creating a new team to assist the homeless population.

The team's mission is to find them shelter and resolve homeless issues impacting homeowners and businesses. 

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Now that the homeless are off Fresno's freeways the focus moves to canal banks, railroad tracks and other places they like to congregate.

Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer says the Homeless Assistance Response Team or HART will offer help from three different partners.

Poverello House has a team of 18 outreach workers.  Zachary Darrah is CEO.

"Building trust, building rapport and doing so with compassion. Bringing dignity to every single individual that they encounter out on the street."

Fresno P.D. will dedicate six veteran officers and a sergeant to HART seven days a week.  Sgt. Steve Jaquez heads up the team.

"It's a group that is able to show a good deal of compassion and care and maturity in dealing with some of these folks."

The third partner is the city's code enforcement team.  Mayor Dyer says if you have a beef about the homeless, all it takes is a simple call to 3-1-1 to report a problem.

"We're talking about issues that impact a neighborhood, a business complex. Things that we should know about."

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Last year outreach workers convinced 600 people to move off the freeways and into City of Fresno owned motels.  Mayor Dyer says 2500 people are still living in a tent or shanty

and it's going to take time to get them out of the cold.

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