CHICO, Calif. -- Chico’s City Council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to retract April’s emergency directive that allowed homeless camps in its greenways and waterways.
“One of the things we witnessed Tuesday night was a city council that was torn on how to approach this situation that we face in the community in regards to very at-risk individuals, surrounding COVID-19,” said Chico City Manager, Mark Orme.
Councilman Scott Huber was the lone dissenting vote, but some people in Chico agree with him.
“We have such a high level of homelessness, especially because of COVID. I would rather see special designated places reserved for them,” said Bonnie Seeskie.
Bonnie also notes that she does feel unsafe at times, and she’s not alone.
“I see people that are having psychiatric episodes and they’re walking around and loud, and I noticed there was more of that this summer,” said Bonnie.
Orme says all parks are now off-limits to camp in. He says the city is working on short and long term plans to help both causes that will include the county and state partnerships.
“We are collectively meeting today to go through what the steps will be. We need to make sure that we’re making the right steps, so that we don’t mess this up even further,” said Orme.
Orme says the city has and is still working on partnering with shelters and services to get homeless out of encampments.
He also adds that a complete and focused plan on homelessness will be brought to September’s city council meeting where it will discuss short and long term plans.