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Chico City Council to discuss cooling centers, homeless camps

The Chico city council will discuss opening cooling centers safely during the pandemic and moving homeless camps out of public parks during Tuesday's meeting.

Posted: Sep 1, 2020 5:39 PM

CHICO, Calif. - The Chico city council will discuss opening cooling centers safely during the pandemic and moving homeless camps out of public parks during Tuesday's meeting. 
Barbara Dunbar, lives in Chico, she says,  "I think you can sanitize places and do the social distancing, make it more than 6 feet, other wise people are going to pass out and pass away on the streets."
Chico City Manager, Mark Orme says they are still working to find a location that could facilatate a cooling center but at this point in time they haven't found one yet.

Usually the city utilizes the Jesus Center, but this year, the coronavirus made that too unsafe. 

Orme says spacing is the biggest concern. Action News Now asked the city how soon we could see a cooling center open.

"As soon as we find something viable. I think we don't have an answer yet, it hasn't been found yet and nothing has worked out to this point."

In the meantime, Orme says they are handing out water bottles to people who need them.

Another topic on tonights agenda, that has people split, is moving homeless camps out of public parks.
Barbara Dunbar, from Chico says, "I want the homeless folks to have a place to be, if you are going to kick them out of the parks where are they going to go they dont have the means to leave town."

On the other hand, Chico resident,  Janet Carroll, says "Our public spaces need to be regulated and one regulation should be that they are not campgrounds."

Orme says they are looking into the possibility of using the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds.

"We still haven't come to a resolution on being able to use it but i have followed the conversation today. It is my hope we will find some opportunity to utilize space to get folks out of the areas of parks that cant facilitate that type of use."

He says they're only moving camps near the waterways - until the have place to move them.

The Chico city council will hold a special meeting that will only focus on the homelessness issue here in the city.

That meeting is set for September 22nd. 

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Aside from the haze and smoke, we've had beautiful weather in northern California today, and it will be just as nice tomorrow. A storm is coming our way, however, and we'll have very unsettled weather this weekend.
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