CHICO, Calif. - The city of Chico took a big step forward in addressing its homelessness crisis.
Tuesday, the City Council decided to set aside more than $800,000 to help people get off the streets.
Around $282,000 will go towards the CHAT program, while around $580,000 will help with what the City Manager said will be a “resting site” where the city plans to offer outreach programs.
“The city council really saw an opportunity to leverage federal dollars that the city received specifically to help manage through the coronavirus situation, and so when they looked at it comprehensively they decided that helping those that meet the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) requirements of low-income is particularly related to those without shelter,” said Orme.
“This is an emergency, this isn’t something that should wait,” said Joel Castle. He told Action News Now that he experienced being homeless for several years.
“It’s hard when people turn you away and call you names, say that you’re mental, or that you’re on drugs," Castle said. "They have no idea, each situation out here is different.”
“The CHAT portion is a really, very well-run program where CHAT is currently helping families without shelter, the other portion is the city is continuing to look at opportunities to help those without shelter be somewhere to be and have the services and outreach given to them to help get them out of the circumstances they find themselves in, into a sheltered environment,” added Orme.
Orme said the council will discuss the CHAT portion during the next city council meeting on June 1. The resting site discussion will likely come back in August.