The law, passed by Fresno City Council, makes camping on public or private property without the owner’s permission a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine or by up to six months in jail.
According to the Fresno Bee, people camping illegally can have their belongings confiscated and be booked into jail. They also can allow police to take them to MAP Point, a clearinghouse for housing, shelter, health and social services based at Poverello House.
A 2017 survey estimated 1,572 people were living without permanent homes in Fresno – an increase of about 20 percent from 2016 numbers.
Businesses say the law is working in that it has reduced nuisances and cleaned up the streets. Although the ordinance doesn’t directly target people who live on the streets, many of those without permanent housing said their lives changed dramatically after the ordinance was passed.
That’s the whole point.