Clint Olivier’s opinion piece regarding vagrants is on the mark. Vagrants are costing property owners thousands if not millions of dollars each year in Fresno.
Many of them have adopted a “homeless” lifestyle: living out of stolen shopping carts, and sleeping and defecating in our parks, shopping centers, office complexes, street corners and landscaping along highways. They leave trash, drug paraphernalia and graffiti behind and often burglarize or vandalize properties.
Fences, gates and window bars are being installed to keep them out of commercial and residential properties. Caltrans has cleared much of the shrubbery along freeways to discourage campsites. Security patrols have become common.
Recycling centers are frequented by drug-using vagrants. This deters others from patronizing nearby businesses. It is time that ordinances regarding abandoned and stolen shopping carts, recycling centers, trespassing and vagrancy be enforced.
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If vagrancy becomes more socially unacceptable, less tolerated and more difficult perhaps more vagrants will seek help to change their lives from the many available programs provided by government and nonprofit agencies.
Bob Hooke, Fresno