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Chico advocates share ideas with Homeless Solutions Committee

Chico advocates share their ideas with the Homeless Solutions Committee on how to help the unhoused community.

Posted: May 4, 2021 12:52 AM
Updated: May 4, 2021 8:11 AM

CHICO, Calif. - The city of Chico has less than two weeks to come up with a solution for the homeless crisis.

Around 70 people gathered on Zoom Monday afternoon to continue the discussion around solutions for the homeless.

In the Homeless Solutions Committee’s third meeting, homeless advocates shared their ideas with Mayor Andrew Coolidge and other council members about what they hope would benefit the homeless community.

One major topic of discussion was shelter place management.

Many agreed that some rules will not fit all needs.

Marty Dunlap, one participant, was one of them.

“There are different situations and I think we want to be sensitive to the unhoused population and listen to them in terms of what might be better breakdowns for the campgrounds,” she shared.

At Wednesday’s meeting last week, some suggested creating one or two large campgrounds around the city.

But at this meeting, some disagree and compared it to living with 50 to 100 roommates.

“Do you create a one-size-fits-all, giant camp at the edge of town somewhere thinking that’s going to be desirable to people, I think we might be missing the boat on what motivates people,” Patrick Newman, another homeless advocate, said.

Angela McLaughlin agreed.

“Ultimately, yeah. We should have multiple camps and those camps should be feeding folks into access to services. Tiny homes might be a part of that solution,” she said.

Action News Now caught up with Mayor Andrew Coolidge after the meeting and he said he’s excited for what is to come and hopes this committee can help solve the homeless crisis within the city.

“I’m really pleased with how they have turned out and honestly, it’s been a surprise,” he said with a smile. “I didn’t imagine them to go so smoothly and for people to be so forthcoming with information. It has been a wealth of information. It’s been great.”

Mayor Coolidge will ask the council Tuesday about having more of these meetings.

If they approve, three of them will take place Wednesday through Friday of this week.

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