Public forums planned to discuss homeless village in Redding

Nov 12, 2014 7:43 PM by Charlene Cheng

Members behind the Shasta Humanity Project think they have a solid plan to help the homeless population, but first, they need to win over the community.

"There's a lot of professionals that live in our community, and there's concerned citizens. And not only do they want to understand our project, but they also want to possibly have some ideas that they want us to hear about, and we want to give them that opportunity to share those ideas," said president Douglas Christian.

The vision is a transitional housing community made up of 30 to 40 cottages, sitting on several acres here in Redding, with on-site resident advocates, life coaches, and case managers.

"There will be an agreement, an application process, a screening process, the facility would house local residents who have fallen on hard times and become homeless," Christian said.

One of the biggest road blocks to this project is location.

Christian scouted around the city this past summer, but was unable to pin down a piece of land.

But, he doesn't believe that nearby residents and businesses will have concerns once they learn more about what's expected of tenants.

"They're going to have things to do during the day. They're going to be going to school, they're going to be going to job training. They're going to have stuff to do. And at the end of the day, they're going to have a routine, so they're not just hanging out," he said.

The Shasta Humanity Project has a goal to be up and running by 2016.

Christian hopes that the public forums will be the first steps to figuring out where the village will be, how they'll get funding, and most importantly, is this right for the community?

"Well, is to do nothing right for Redding, for Shasta County? I think it is time. If it wasn't time, then we wouldn't have gotten to where we are today," he said.

If you missed the first forum, you'll have three more chances to join in the conversation.

The next gathering is scheduled for Tuesday, January 20, at the Redding Library.


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