Two days after the city of Fresno launched an operation to eliminate a shantytown on Santa Clara Street between G and E streets, the area appeared to be cleared Wednesday morning.
Gone were makeshift homes made of tarps and wooden pallets, along with the people who occupied them, next to Poverello House.
In July, City Manager Bruce Rudd said there would be a three-week sweep of encampments near downtown Fresno. The Santa Clara camp was the first to be targeted by Rudd, who cited problems including fires, violence and public health issues.
The city plans to raze a camp at Los Angeles and E streets starting Tuesday and a camp at H Street and Ventura Avenue Sept. 9.
It wasn't clear where residents of the Santa Clara encampment had gone, but some likely went to the other encampments.
City officials say they are working to find safe places to live for those displaced by the operations but also vow to be vigilant in preventing new encampments from springing up.
Advocates for the homeless say the operation does nothing to address the roots of Fresno's homeless problems and that dispersing the occupants only makes them isolated and vulnerable.
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