Interfaith Council Looks for Harmony on the City Plaza

Jan 24, 2013 11:34 PM

Interfaith leaders, the Butte County Health Department, Chico police, and concerned members of the community gathered Thursday night at the Old Municipal Building, hoping to find ways to help people come to terms with the homeless population at the Chico City Plaza. Members of the spiritual community say they'd like to teach people that transients shouldn't be feared. Most days and nights, homeless people will hang out at the plaza, playing music, singing, washing up in the fountain, singing, and playing with their pets. Some residents and business owners say they're a nuisance. Local spiritual leaders say instead of being fearful, residents should engage them in conversation while using common sense. They suggest avoiding one-on-one conversations at night, and giving someone who appears to be agitated space. But they also suggest starting a dialogue to reach a solution. Bill Such with the Jesus Center says many homeless people want to be helped. He says he's known some downtown businesses offer a few bucks to a homeless person to sweep an alcove, or perform other tasks, which in turn helps that person become a productive member of society.


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