BNSF Railway updates Fresno County Board of Supervisors on efforts to address homelessness

BNSF1BNSF Railway delivered a verbal report to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors providing an overview of the work the company has done to address homeless encampments in Fresno County. Through June of this year, BNSF reported the removal of 293 of 304 reported homeless encampments in 2019. Of those reported, 33 were located in Fresno.

“BNSF has been a tremendous partner, compassionately addressing encampments adjacent to the railroad,” said Nathan Magsig, Chairman and District 5 Supervisor of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. “It is only through collaboration that we will be able to address homelessness in our communities.”

In addition to the report provided, BNSF also noted an additional 22 homeless encampments their Fresno Homeless Operation had removed in the previous week alone, raising the total to more than 50 encampments removed in Fresno alone.

Israel Salazar of BNSF Railway

“We value our partnership with Fresno County as we work together to keep our communities safe,” noted Lena Kent, Director of Public Affairs for BNSF. She continued, “Nearly two years ago, BNSF created a community liaison position focused on coordinating with cities and service providers to find safer places for the homeless, help connect them with services and resources and dismantle encampments on railroad property. We appreciate this recognition and will continue to work with Fresno to deal with this important issue.”

Sonia de la Rosa
Sonia de la Rosa of Fresno County

“The prompt response by the BNSF Team, usually within two weeks of the initial report, not only safeguards the lives of those adjacent to the railway but also allows outreach personnel to engage with homeless individuals prior to removal,” said Sonia De La Rosa, Principal Administrative Analyst.

Following the report, the Board presented BNSF with a Certificate of Recognition acknowledging the extensive, ongoing efforts they have made to address this critical issue in Fresno and across the country.


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