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Perea Backs City-Sanctioned Homeless Encampments For Fresno

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Yellowfeather Noriega
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http://survivingfresno.blogspot.com/
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Fresno mayoral candidate and current Fresno County Supervisor Henry R. Perea supports the idea of city sanctioned encampments for Fresno’s homeless population. 

Speaking on Valley Public Radio’s Valley Edition, Perea says city and county officials have been making progress in getting many homeless people into housing. But he adds the problem of people living on the streets has become more visible since the city closed down several illegal downtown encampments in 2013. Perea says legalized encampments should be an option. 

Perea: “For those who aren’t ready for the home, or if the home is not available for them or if they don’t want to go into the Rescue Mission because they don’t want to go into the treatment program or the counseling, for that person who just wants to be out in the community, I think what we have to do is provide a safe shelter for them to be at, whether it’s camp, a campground that’s secured and protected and has facilities with security."

Perea says if he’s elected mayor, he would work to move people who are currently living on street corners, or behind buildings either into existing programs, or official campsites. 

Perea: “You can’t sleep behind Vons anymore because it’s just not working for the neighborhood, it doesn’t really work for you. But here is a safe encampment if you don’t want all the other options.”

Several cities across the country are experimenting with government-sanctioned camps for homeless residents, including Portland and Seattle. 

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of Valley Public Radio. During his tenure, he's helped lead the station through major programming changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining the station's financial health. From 2010-2018 he served as the station's Director of Program Content. In that role, he also served as the host of Valley Edition, and helped launch and grow the station's award-winning local news department. He is a Fresno native and a graduate of California State University, Fresno.
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