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Chico City Council moves forward with sheltering options for homeless

The old BMX track is one of the options the city is looking at to shelter the homeless as well as partnering with the Chico Housing Action Team also known as CHAT.

Posted: Feb 3, 2021 7:30 PM
Updated: Feb 3, 2021 7:49 PM

CHICO, Calif. - The Chico City Council is moving forward with its plans to provide shelter for the homeless at the old BMX track, also known as the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds. 

"Something needs to be done," said Chico resident, Jennifer Perry. "Obviously, what is happening now isn't working for anyone and we need a safe place for them to be and the park isn't an option."

Perry lives near the Silver Dollar Campground. She feels the old BMX track would be a good place for the homeless.

"To me, it seems kind of ideal," said Perry. "It's enclosed space, it is out of the way."

Tuesday night, the city council voted 4-to-3 to move forward with authorizing the Silver Dollar BMX property for a potential shelter. The cost to develop the site is about $600,000.

RELATED: Full recap from Tuesday's Chico City Council meeting

"Council made it clear that they want to encourage the community to try to help support getting the local BMX group and non-profit re-located," said Chico City Manager, Mark Orme. "And we have the initiative moving forward trying to raise the funds to get them re-located, so that property becomes a clean slate so that we can have the opportunity to have programs on there." 

The city also plans to partner with the Chico Housing Action Team, also known as CHAT, to put tiny homes onto the BMX property.

"Pretty exciting overall," said Orme. "I think that you saw some momentum gained by collaborating on a project with CHAT that will create non-congregate sheltering. So I think city council is pretty excited about moving forward on that."

The city also set aside more than $200,000 to help CHAT secure a non-congregate shelter site. Chat said they currently in the process of building over 20 tiny homes for the homeless.

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