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Chico City Council approves concept to relocate Jesus Center

Chico, Calif.--The city council unanimously decided to approve a concept that would consolidate all the services available to homeless people into one area in South Chico.

Posted: Nov 8, 2017 8:24 AM

Chico, Calif.--The city council unanimously decided to approve a concept that would consolidate all the services available to homeless people into one area in South Chico and would move the Jesus Center from its current location.

The council chamber was completely full Tuesday night with standing room only and many who attended said it's because they care about this issue of homelessness in the city, and are excited about this potential solution.

According to Laura Cootsona, executive director of the Jesus Center, with this move they would be able to add up to 15 family rooms, 50 more beds, and on-site medical services.

More than 30 concerned citizens spoke during tonight's meeting, many of which supported the concept.

"It's not fun to have to go into work every day, and clean up feces, and urine, and needles and etc. I have huge compassion for the people in this community, but I don't think it's compassionate to continue to solve the problem that way we've been solving it right now," said Kasey Reynolds, owner of Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy.

"This can be one of the great collaborations that our community's ever experienced. It actually gives me fear and keeps me up at night because collaboration sounds really cool, but it's really hard work. And we have that ahead of us," said Cootsona.

The city will now give Silver Dollar BMX a one year notice that their lease will be terminated, and city manager Mark Orme will work with them to find a new location.

Cootsona said she's excited to move forward with this concept, but that there are no set dates on when a move would happen.

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Wednesday has been similar to Tuesday around northern California with comfortable temperatures, but unhealthy levels of smoke in the air. A cold front is approaching the West Coast, and that will move over the region on Thursday.
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