Letters to the Editor — July 2019 — Would Fresno’s Homeless Want a Safe and Legal Place to Live?

By Brian Bobbitt

Recently, I spoke with a homeless man about the homeless campground plans for the city of Fresno.

Brett Horgan is homeless. His “area” is the Blackstone/Barstow intersection, and you can always find him there, he says. Brett has family and friends just like everyone else, but for whatever reason he is on the street.

A job is not the answer for many of the homeless. Sometimes even a home isn’t. Moreover, programs and treatment are not for everyone. Not one thing got them there, and not one thing will get them back to the lifestyle the majority lives. Some don’t want that lifestyle. They should not be forced back into something they don’t want.

This is why we need safe and legal campgrounds with minimal services such as restrooms, showers and trash service in a campground with treatment services available.

The campground is simply a place to live, and the homeless could leave and come back to their stuff, not push their possessions all over town.

To the question I stopped to ask about, it took 30 minutes to get there. If we had a campground like I mentioned and it was open right now would you let me take you there? You have restrooms, showers, trash containers, no programs to join or treatments to follow—simply a legal and safe place to camp. “Yes, I would go and give it a try,” he said. “I like what you described but if I didn’t [like it], would you give me a ride back here?”

One day this might become a reality. We can make Fresno a better place for all.

Brian Bobbitt

Fresno

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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