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Chico is pushing forward to get homeless sheltered

The city of Chico is pushing forward down a new path to get the homeless into a shelter.

Posted: Jan 8, 2021 12:05 AM
Updated: Jan 8, 2021 9:56 AM

CHICO, Calif. - The city of Chico is pushing forward down a new path to get the homeless into a shelter.

The Chico City Council passed a motion regarding emergency shelter options for the homeless.

Originally, state building codes would only allow overnight sheltering at facilities that had proper sprinkler systems.

Now, Chico is looking into how other cities have been handling the situation while remaining compliant.

Once a viable proposal is in place, a special city council meeting will be called.

Action News Now spoke with Chico City Manager Mark Orme, Chico's City Manager, about the decision.

He said, "Is there any way to work through the state of California to find a path to enabling the city to work with the nonprofits to find a location for emergency sheltering, particularly during these winter months? Low and behold, some communications came through and there are some opportunities."

One of those nonprofit options?

Safe Space.

So, why would nonprofits like this one be a good option to help?

"A willing desire to really help people,” Orme said. “That's what Safe Space does. They help bring people out of a circumstance and out of an environment that isn't necessarily healthy for them to be in existence. We've seen that happen year after year after year. There are a lot of community partners that have the same heart."

Siana Sonoquie, a Safe Space Board member, is excited to potentially work with the city.

She said, "Right now, there is just not options for anyone. I have multiple people reaching out and experiencing a housing crisis that are wanting just something to get inside. It's such a challenge. So, this is all really welcome news."

Orme continued, "It's wonderful to see the community like Chico still being able to come together on really important issues like this."

The City has more than $280,000 to go toward homeless shelters. This motion on emergency shelter options passed 6-1.

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