Chico neighbors want city, homeless services to address transient problem

May 8, 2015 11:25 PM by Alyssa Deitsch

Some living at the edge of the Barber Neighborhood along the Little Chico Creek are fed up with their neighbors-- homeless and transients living under the 9th and Salem Street bridge.

What should be a serene view of the creek from Laurie Lazzeroni's backyard, is instead a view that looks more like a dump site. Transients set up shop in the dry creek bed below.

Lazzeroni is sick of the sights, smells, and noises she deals with on a daily basis.

"Coughing, vomiting, arguing," she explains. "Rustling in my bushes as they go down to the creek to go to the restroom, to defecate."

She wrote to Chico city council members and called police. So has her neighbor, Joseph Serrano, who lives on the other side of the Little Chico Creek, who says his home has been broken into.

"This is what's going on under the streets you drive on," Lazzeroni said as she pointed out the mess under the bridge-- including, garbage, graffiti, and bedding left behind.

Lazzeroni says she is not blaming the people living under the bridge, rather the homeless services who claim to help them.

"I'm at the point now where I really feel like it's the people that serve the homeless that need to step up to the plate and realize that just feeding them is not good enough," Lazzeroni said, explaining the Chico needs housing for the homeless, whether they are sober or not.

But she says the city shouldn't house everybody.

"We need to discern between who's homeless and who's a transient," she said.

No matter the solution, Lazzeroni wants to see something being done to address the problem.

"I've lived in Butte Bounty for a very long time. I'm a good person. I work, I have a job, I pay my taxes, I don't party, I don't pollute my neighborhood," Lazzeroni said. "I'm going to leave. Is that what Chico wants? Does Chico just want to throw up their hands and say it is what it is let's just turn the town over to people who don't care about it?"


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