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City of Fresno working to house 350 homeless people over next 100 days


Right now, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer says more than 1,650 unsheltered people are living in the city.

Over the next 100 days, the goal is to get 350 of those people housed.

The city has been buying motels to make that possible.

"A lot of motels in Fresno that were rundown, perhaps some of them being utilized for the wrong purpose," he said. "So acquiring those motels, refurbishing them. Placing our unsheltered population in those with services has been a really good solution."

Dyer says the longer-term plan is to turn those motels into permanent housing.

On Tuesday, The Villa opened its doors in West Central Fresno, providing 52 units for unhoused singles and couples in the city.

By the end of May, 232 units will be open for single people and couples nearby at The Parkway.

Dyer says two more undisclosed locations are in the works in Council Districts 4 and 6, and another potential location was identified in District 5.

Poverello House works face-to-face with those exerpiencing homelessness on a daily basis and is working alongside the city on this initiative.

CEO Zack Darrah says the first step is to get unhoused people into a stable living environment.

"We call it the housing first model that someone needs to have permanent and stable housing before they can work on other challenges that they may be experiencing," he said. "It's particularly difficult in our community, of course, because of our housing crisis."

During Tuesday's press conference, it was announced the city plans to open 700 affordable housing units to help further address the crisis.

For the mayor, getting people housed is a benefit to the individuals and community.

"It's good for businesses," he said. "No business thrives when you have a significant homeless population outside of their business."

Since the project's launch in 2021, city officials say 1,700 people were placed in emergency housing, with more than 76% getting a safe exit.

That means they are living full-time with family or found permanent housing.

The city is using Home Key Dollars from the state and American Rescue Funds to help pay for the project.

The mayor says long term, they hope to partner with the county to make this effort more sustainable.

For news updates, follow Kate Nemarich on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram .
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