Chico City Council votes unanimously to declare a shelter crisis

Chico City Council previously declared a shelter crisis on Oct. 8, 2018 which ended this year on June 30.

Posted: Oct 6, 2021 12:01 AM
Updated: Oct 6, 2021 9:04 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Chico City Council voted 7-0 to declare a shelter crisis at 8:20 p.m. Tuesday during their City Council meeting. 

The agenda report states that the most recent Point-In-Time Census and survey report identifies 571 unsheltered homeless people in Chico, which is 32% higher than the amount when the previous shelter crisis was declared. 

City Council previously declared a shelter crisis on Oct. 8, 2018, which ended this year on June 30. 

The declaration provides the city with several options including more public facilities and enacting several health and safety standards. 

Thirteen members of the public spoke in front of the city council Tuesday night about their thoughts with several people being for declaring a shelter crisis. These people say more shelter should be provided for those who need it, but others say the financial loss would be too much. 

City Councilmember Sean Morgan said the strategy they plan on using will include regaining the safety and cleanliness and return of Chico's plazas and parks. 

RELATED: Chico City Council to discuss shelter crisis declaration, climate action commission

"The staff leading our strategy believes the declaration of a shelter crisis will help us return to a city within our control and the ability to be transparent about things," said Morgan. 

City Councilmember Michael O'Brien said this issue should be the council's top priority. 

“We are at a crisis point in our community," O'Brien said. "We’ve heard it from community members, we’ve heard it from community members from throughout my short time as a council member. This injunction that hangs over our head right now, is detrimental to both the housed and unhoused alike. I view the shelter crisis declaration as strategically necessary as Councilmember Morgan stated as well, to offer the most expedient resolution to the injunction."

The agenda report states that no funds are requested as part of the report, but future actions regarding the use of City Designated Facilities for emergency shelters may come with related costs. 

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