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Mayor: Chico's new homeless site funded by city's COVID-19 funds

A new resting site for the City of Chico's homeless is getting ready to open up on Friday.

Posted: Jun 23, 2021 5:21 PM

CHICO, Calif. - A new resting site for the City of Chico's homeless is getting ready to open up.

Mayor Andrew Coolidge said it's coming from city COVID-19 funds, federal funds and county funds.

They have around $2 million to work with but Coolidge doesn’t think it will cost that much.

He said this is all money that has been set aside specifically to help with this issue.

The total cost depends on how many people actually use the site.

The city said there will be enough room for around 570 people here in this area. The city wants to stress they only expect about 30 to 80 people to actually use it.

Action News Now spoke with one woman staying at Comanche Creek who said she doesn't plan to use it because she doesn't like the location.

RELATED: Chico finds solution to shelter homeless

“When you think of from the airport to any store close by, it's at least 30 minutes away maybe longer,” said Amber Bond.

“This is a site that meets the criteria we need, provides a temporary place for them to go and fulfills that order moves us forward so we can get our parks and waterways cleaned up,” said Mayor Coolidge.

He said the site will have an RV and car area, a large tent, water tanks and portable restrooms.

People will be able to bring tents and personal belongings and pets as long as everything stays in allocated spaces.

Action News Now also spoke with businesses in the airport area who shared concerns. 

"Security is a big concern. That’s a lot of people. The airport is right here. Our business, we aren't accustomed to having that many people out here that aren't working out here," said Bill Weaver, who works near the airport. 

"In terms of people who live in the area there's no homes within several hundred yards of this facility, in terms of people who do business in the area, there are no businesses within several hundred yards of this facility," Coolidge said. "This facility is set up to provide what we need to provide but also protect our population. We have fences, actually two fences seperating this population from the airport. So you're talking thousands of feet in between where the planes are taking off between this and the shelter site."

RELATED: Over 500 homeless could be sheltered near Chico airport

The amount of time the site will be up is up to the judge.

The site is set to open Friday. Mayor Coolidge said it will be monitored 24/7.

The case will be presented at the U.S. Eastern District Court to determine if it meets the judge’s approval on July 2.

Mayor Coolidge said the overall goal is to eventually move people from the site and into shelters where they can get more help.

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Get out and enjoy this beautiful weather tonight! If you do head out and plan to stay out late, probably bring an extra later to throw on for when the sun sets as temperatures will be cooling off into the low to mid 60s for the valley by midnight and low to mid 40s by tomorrow morning.
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