[FresnoHomelessAdvocates] Dispatch from the War Zone – Week Two

NOTES FROM NORSE:  Mike Rhodes, writer, activist, & photojournalist with the Community Alliance newspaper, the Fresno Homeless Advocates, & many other groups writes regularly at www.indybay.org/centralvalley where further comments on this story reprinted below can be posted.

In Santa Cruz, homeless people who had lived on private property with the permission of the owner reported their encampments and structures were destroyed and their  property was stolen by sheriff’s deputies and SCPD marauders in several seize-and-spoil operations in the last few weeks.  A marijuana crop was confiscated (or robbed, as homeless people saw it) even though they claimed at least ten of them had medical marijuana cards.

This happened both near highway 17 and another encampment some distance away.   I’ll be playing those reports Thursday September 8th on the stream of Free Radio during my show 6-8 PM at http://tunein.com/radio/FRSC-s47254/.

HUFF  will meet tomorrow at 10 AM at 703 Pacific to discuss this issue further.

From: MikeRhodes@comcast.net
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2013 13:35:26 -0700
Subject: [FresnoHomelessAdvocates] Dispatch from the War Zone – Week Two

The City of Fresno is in their second week of destroying homeless encampments in the downtown area.  To see photos of the demolition and people trying to escape, go to:  

Mike Rhodes  Editor  Community Alliance Newspaper
PO Box 5077  Fresno Ca 93755  (559) 978-4502 (cell)
editor@fresnoalliance.comwww.fresnoalliance.com


https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/09/03/18742623.php

Central Valley | Health, Housing, and Public Services

Dispatch from the War Zone – Week Two
by Mike Rhodes ( editor [at] fresnoalliance.com )
Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2013 1:28 PM

The City of Fresno is in their second week of destroying homeless encampments in the downtown area. The photos of the demolition and people trying to escape (below) are from the encampment that is located between E street and highway 99 with California Ave and San Benito on either end of the encampment. These photos were taken on Tuesday, September 3, 2013.

The city work crews gathered at 7 a.m. and were soon walking through the encampment telling the homeless residents that they have to move on. Most homeless people I talked to did not have anyplace to go. Several said they would go to the H street encampment that is scheduled to be destroyed (by the city) next week and some said they would sleep on a nearby sidewalk. As I arrived at about 6:30 a.m. some people were still sleeping on sidewalks by the Poverello House, the location of last weeks demolitions.

It was the Poverello House, which is a social service organization that provides meals for the homeless, that pushed the city to destroy the homeless encampments. They argued that the encampments, with their run down appearance and alleged crime was preventing clients from entering their facility.

The demolition today followed a pattern that played out last week near the Poverello House. After the city’s attorney and sanitation workers walk through the encampment (with multiple video recorders capturing every conversation), they offer the residents bags to put their property in. If they have a lot of property, the city brings in a large 8 x 8 x 20 foot container. While property is being stored, the bulldozers start clearing out unwanted property and trash that has been left behind. Soon, the bulldozers are tearing into the shelters as many of the homeless are still pushing shopping carts away. Eventually every last shelter will be destroyed, property will be stored for 90 days, and the homeless will have no place safe to sleep tonight.

§The Bulldozers Come Very Close to Where People are Standing

by Mike Rhodes Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2013 1:28 PM

§Saving a Mirror

by Mike Rhodes Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2013 1:28 PM

§A Scene from the Demolition

by Mike Rhodes Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2013 1:28 PM

§Hauling away a Water Bottle

by Mike Rhodes Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2013 1:28 PM

§This Woman Broke Down as the Demolition Began

by Mike Rhodes Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2013 1:28 PM

§One of the Last to Leave

by Mike Rhodes Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2013 1:28 PM

§This is what a Demolition of a homeless encampment looks like

by Mike Rhodes Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2013 1:28 PM

§Destroying Somebody’s Bed

by Mike Rhodes Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2013 1:28 PM

§Bulldozer vs. Homeless Shelter

by Mike Rhodes Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2013 1:28 PM

§Trying to Escape with a few Bicycle Parts

by Mike Rhodes Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2013 1:28 PM

§Getting out just ahead of the bulldozer

by Mike Rhodes Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2013 1:28 PM

§3rd World

by Mike Rhodes Tuesday Sep 3rd, 2013 1:28 PM

This house sits right across the ally from the homeless encampment. At least 1/2 of the homes in the neighborhood are boarded up and abandoned and yet you have homeless people living all around the area.

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