City Launches New Plan To Reduce Number Of Homeless; Will Clear Downtown Encampments

      Efforts to reduce the number of homeless people on the streets of Fresno will soon intensify under a new proposal from city leaders.

      Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer and other leaders held a news conference Tuesday outlining the city's latest approach that centers around city workers clearing out homeless camps around downtown Fresno.{}

      The initiative is slated to begin Aug. 26.

      The city is budgeting $1 million on tenant-based rental assistance for 2014. City officials also say it will limit its waste collection to once every three weeks, to discourage illegal dumping.

      Recently, someone dumped a full-sized fiberglass boat.

      The police department will also continue crime sweeps through the homeless camps, officials said.

      In a recent sweep of arrests, police made 82 felony arrests in a 20-day period.

      The city is also counting on federal help from Housing and Urban Development.

      HUD has chosen Fresno as one of 10 priority cities to end homelessness.