It's what many consider a quiet neighborhood near Downtown Fresno. E Street is even home to several churches, including the Fresno Temple, but 30 transients have made the back of the street home. The area is Fresno's newest homeless encampment.
“What do we do? You've got constant fires back there. The fire department comes out 2-3 times a week, a day sometimes,” said a resident who did not want to be identified, in fear for her safety.
She says there have been several shootings at the encampment. She says she’s also seen drug deals and prostitution take place.
“They come in, get water, traffic all night, traffic in the back, you see nice cars back there,” she added.
It's a situation the city is well aware of. Greg Barfield is Fresno's homeless prevention and policy manager.
“This one we're worried about and we're stuck in this no win situation at this point,” said Barfield.
Barfield said his main goal is finding all homeless people a safer place to stay. But that has not been easy. He explained, “The concern about this particular camp has been the level of violence and some of the other issues that have occurred. Some of the workers have pulled back from this particular camp and are focusing on other areas of the city.”
But people who live in the camp say they're not there to cause any trouble. Marriane Combs moved there after her husband passed away. She says they all just want respect and a place to call home.
“That's what we've lost, we've lost respect, dignity, compassion. No respect for anybody,” said Combs.
Of course, the city could always just clean out the camp, but that is easier said than done. Six years ago, the city got sued for clearing out a downtown homeless camp. The city had to pay about 200 homeless people and their lawyers more than $2 million. Last year, the city got sued again after another sweep. At this point, the city's still in the process of finding a solution.