Homeless Trashy Mess, City Afraid To Take Action!
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) —
Some call it disgusting, others say its just plain wrong, and is a biohazard that is out of control, and grows by the day.
Mounds of trash fill the streets near downtown Fresno.
Sophia Arakelyan says, "It smells, and the homeless fight at night and you should hear how they talk. These people cuss and its not great."
Sophia and her family live directly across the street from one of the largest piles of trash.
She and others say the mounds of debris have moved closer and closer to their door, and the stench and flies are horrible.
So what are some of the items inside the pile? You can find everything from drug paraphernalia to needles, to clothing to dirty diapers, to lots of flies.
So why is the city not cleaning this up?
Fresno Assistant City Manager Bruce Rudd says, "We are very painfully aware of what's going on out there."
Rudd says in the last few months the city placed dumpster's near the various homeless camps after being contacted by concerned residents.
Rudd says, "We are willing to put the dumpster's out there, and allow non-profit or church members to go out there and clean it up. Because if we go out there, and we have gone out and cleaned up what people perceive and we agree is junk, we end up being on the end of lawsuit, claiming that we threw away someone's personal valuable processions."
You may recall years ago, the homeless sued the city of Fresno.
The city lost the multi-million dollar lawsuit when they cleaned up a homeless encampment.
Rudd says the city is now involved in a current suit, after city staff tried to clean up the neighborhood where Sophia and others call home.
Rudd says, "This current lawsuit we followed the court order to the tee, had our attorney out there the whole time we were doing the clean up and we are still being sued and threatened with a multi-million dollar settlement if we don't prevail."
Chris Schneider with Central California Legal Services says, "That's ridiculous. They've claimed a number of times that they've been sued for picking up trash that is totally untrue."
Chris Schneider is representing several of the plaintiffs in the current lawsuit against the city.
He says the city was sued in the past was for throwing away the people's property.
Schneider says, "Things like the urn with ashes, when they've taken students school books, when they've taken people's medications."
Meanwhile, the piles of trash continue to grow.
Neighbors and local businesses owners like James Diaz who has ran his transmission shop for 25 years says he's fed up as a tax payer.
James Diaz says, "They urinate in the streets, drink, start bon-fires in the road. At times they steal cars and strip them and they do what they want, anything they want and nobody says anything. That's all there is to it."
After the city of Fresno saw our promos promoting the story about the trash, city crews cleaned it up. But 24-hours later the homeless left new piles of trash. These are also filled with human waste. City staff says the mayor will announce a plan within the next month to help the homeless in that area find permanent housing.