Situational Homelessness

Individuals who find themselves in a position of situational homelessness have sustained some sort of sudden, catastrophic loss that has left them, temporarily, without a place to call home. Some common events that could thrust someone into situational homelessness include (but are not limited to): divorce, personal tragedy, loss of employment, eviction, large bills or sudden expenses, medical issues, etc.

Addiction & Mental Illness

Individuals suffering from addictions or mental illness account for about 80% of individuals you typically see living on the streets of Fresno. This type of homelessness can also be referred to as chronic homelessness, characterized by an individual living on the streets long term in a cycle of homelessness.

Urban Campers

Unlike the situational homeless and addicted and mentally ill, urban campers choose a lifestyle of living on the streets and gleaning for their survival. They are the most visible in our community, often seen holding signs and panhandling on our street corners and in front of businesses. Depending on the area and day of the week (Sunday being the highest), they can make anywhere from $30 - $250 per day panhandling. Many battle drug addictions and are in need of interventions, yet are able to sustain their habits by the money they receive on the streets.

The best way to help

There are many organizations in Fresno that are well equipped and situated to help anyone on the streets and/or homeless “get back on their feet.” These organizations provide such services as temporary housing, meals, job opportunities, advocacy, and much more. Though all homelessness is tragic and uncomfortable, no one who becomes homeless or who is hurting in Fresno should feel like they have nowhere to turn, or that they are alone in their plight – visit our list of community partners for resources and additional information.

Giving that hurts

The reality of chronic homelessness, regardless of the particular cause(s) involved, is that until the root issues are addressed, REAL CHANGE cannot occur. Well-meaning individuals who give money and/or goods to someone who is in a cycle of chronic homelessness – as difficult as this may be to accept – are actually causing harm by keeping such a person right where they are: trapped in a destructive pattern, isolated from the medical and/or psychological help they really need. Until any person comes to the point where the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change, an individual is not likely to accept the kind of REAL CHANGE that is available right now – in the form of established organizations that are ready and equipped to assist individuals on the streets begin the journey toward healing and sustainable life change.

Giving that helps

With only an estimated 600 chronically homeless living on the streets, there are enough resources in place right now to put every single homeless person in Fresno on the path to health and recovery.

Take the pledge to end homelessness by committing to refrain from giving that hurts, and instead direct your generosity to the established organizations that can provide personal care that helps.