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Chico City Council continues to tackle homeless crisis

The city council is calling for more help from Butte County Behavioral Health.

Posted: Apr 6, 2021 7:21 PM
Updated: Apr 6, 2021 7:25 PM

CHICO, Calif. - Chico leaders are asking the county to make sure the City of Chico is receiving its fair share of mental health services specifically for the homeless.

Butte County Behavioral Health has a total of over $73 million in its budget that is allocated for behavioral health services.

Chico Mayor Andrew Coolidge wants the community to know about the county's budget and where the money is spent.

"Just transparency in all this stuff that relates to homeless issues and mental health and things along those lines is really what I am searching for," said Coolidge. 

Coolidge asked the county how often it interacts with the homeless living out on the streets.

Butte County Behavioral Health said members of the county's mobile crisis team co-responds with local law enforcement daily to interact with individuals who are experiencing homelessness and emotional distress.

City Council will also meet tonight to discuss sheltering options for the homeless. They plan to re-discuss the sanctioned campground option for the homeless located at the BMX property.

Originally, the City of Chico was looking to relocate the BMX site near the Chico Airport.

It was proposed by local advocates and service providers that this would cost the city over $600,000 for operational costs.

Now, the BMX property is allowing the city to use 4/5th's of an acre to be used immediately as a campground as long as a fence is built to separate the campground from the rest of the BMX site.

Some of the homeless said they would really benefit from having this option.

"I think we would all," said a community member who did not want to be identified. "It would be somewhere to be safe."

"I think is important for people to be able to spread out and have some activities," said a community member who did not want to be identified.

The city will look at only using this as a temporary option as they continue to collaboratively raise the funds necessary to finalize the BMX sites move to the Chico Airport.

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A significant weather system will impact our area beginning late tonight, lasting through the day on Monday. This includes a large amount of snow for the mountains, with rain and wind for the valley and foothills. A steady rain will begin to move into our area around 1am Sunday.
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