Merced Rescue Mission / http://www.mercedrescuemission.org/about-us

Homelessness is a big problem throughout the valley. It’s not just in large cities like Bakersfield and Fresno though. Smaller towns and rural counties are facing their own challenges in serving those in need with food, shelter and often mental health and substance abuse treatment. But what happens when finding a place to do all those things runs into community opposition?

Google Street View / Google

EDITORS'S NOTE: As of Monday October 10, 2016 the hot meals program has reopened at a new location.

Original Post: 

The Merced County Rescue Mission is looking for a new home for its hot meals program.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin is flatly rejecting the concept of city-sanctioned homeless encampments. 

The mayor is responding to that suggestion from a candidate seeking to replace her.

Earlier this week on Valley Public Radio, Fresno County Supervisor and mayoral candidate Henry Perea suggested that if elected, he would be open to the concept of city-sanctioned homeless encampments.

Yellowfeather Noriega / http://survivingfresno.blogspot.com/

Fresno mayoral candidate and current Fresno County Supervisor Henry R. Perea supports the idea of city sanctioned encampments for Fresno’s homeless population. 

Speaking on Valley Public Radio’s Valley Edition, Perea says city and county officials have been making progress in getting many homeless people into housing. But he adds the problem of people living on the streets has become more visible since the city closed down several illegal downtown encampments in 2013. Perea says legalized encampments should be an option. 

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition we hear from Ben Bergman, with partner station KPCC in Pasadena, in a series called "The Future of Water." Bergman reports from Madera where he speaks with farmers about where water will come from 25 years from now.

According to Fresno City Council Member Clint Olivier, the city faces an existential threat from "vagrants" who have overrun parks, stores and neighborhoods. In an op-ed column in the Fresno Bee, Olivier calls for a new push from city hall on the issue. 

Kern County Homeless Collaborative Faces of Homelessness Facebook Page

On Wednesday, crews from the City of Bakersfield closed down a homeless encampment on South Union Avenue that many residents had called home for years. In recent months the area had become a growing concern for officials responsible for enforcing city codes. Homeless advocates estimate that at the close, around 24 people lived in the encampment. Officials estimate that all but five found some sort of housing, either through shelters, programs or with family members.  

Brittani Fanciullo

There's a new documentary about homelessness in Fresno. "Our Lives: Surviving the Streets of Fresno" not only tells the stories of 10 people directly affected by homelessness, it was shot by them. 

Lisa Lindsay joined Valley Edition host Joe Moore for an interview  about the documentary. She directed the film and also is a supervising librarian for the Fresno County Public Library.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Edition

This week on Valley Edition we talk with Assemblyman Henry T. Perea on why he thinks California's cap and trade system will hurt the Valley. We also speak with Visalia Times Delta Editor Melinda Morales about homelessness in Visalia and why she thinks Peter Frampton canceled a recent show in one of the cities oldest and most controversial parks. 

YouTube/ Kashkari for Governor

Update: 8/5/2014
Neel Kashkari spoke with Valley Public Radio's Joe Moore for the program Valley Edition about his Fresno video and his thoughts on poverty in the San Joaquin Valley. 


Original post:

Neel Kashkari has taken his campaign to become California's next governor to the streets of downtown Fresno in a viral video attacking Governor Jerry Brown's message of a "California comeback."