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Homeless encampment controversy

A motion to eliminate evictions of homeless encampments of under ten people to help slow the spread of COVID-19 was passed Tuesday night.

Posted: Apr 8, 2020 11:41 PM

CHICO, Calif. -- Vice Mayor Alex Brown motioned to eliminate evictions of homeless encampments of under ten people to help slow the spread of COVID-19 during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

That motion passed in a 4-3 vote.

“It brings us in compliance with the CDC guidelines on homeless encampments,” said Councilman Scott Huber. “If you force these people out of the spot that they are currently in they are going to go to other neighborhoods and if they are carrying the virus they will spread the virus as they go. That’s the concern and that’s why we did what we did last night.”

However, Councilman Sean Morgan believe it is unfair to businesses and the people of Chico

“We’re telling business owners, go home and shut your door, even if you're practicing in safe social distancing, and all the safe things, but on the other side we're telling the homeless encampments, ‘go ahead and do whatever you want,’ and that is a really bad message to send, especially when there are people who are losing their livelihoods,” said Morgan.

Morgan adds the city should have trusted its officers to make those decisions.

“When news gets out that, ‘hey, you can go to Chico and be in an encampment and as long as it's not more than 10 people, the police can't do anything about it, don't worry about the social distancing, as long as it's in a homeless encampment and it’s in our parks and waterways, hey we're okay,” said Morgan.

While many locals are afraid of unhealthy encampments in their area, Huber believes that the city will follow CDC guidelines and ensures proper facilities and materials for the homeless.

“We have done some of those things already,” said Huber. “We have provided additional restrooms, we’ve provided even more handwashing stations throughout the community for exactly these reasons.”

Officials will only be allowed to offer information and outreach to those encampments.

City leaders say if this change is not working out, they can call for an emergency meeting to make adjustments ahead of the next city council meeting which is a month out.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3582320

Reported Deaths: 53083
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119601721676
Riverside2904983849
San Bernardino2870552959
Orange2617983966
San Diego2613533342
Santa Clara1110761798
Kern103756915
Fresno957851451
Sacramento937901498
Alameda809501271
Ventura77952870
San Joaquin671231150
Contra Costa62931695
Stanislaus56433953
Tulare48114768
Monterey42335329
San Mateo39148521
San Francisco34387422
Santa Barbara32147420
Solano30216165
Merced29264407
Sonoma28261301
Imperial26926638
Kings22091220
Placer19911232
San Luis Obispo19751238
Madera15523214
Santa Cruz14736183
Marin13285198
Yolo12867185
Shasta11054179
Butte11007167
El Dorado9195100
Napa908072
Sutter889998
Yuba577638
San Benito577061
Lassen562324
Tehama510452
Nevada398874
Tuolumne396659
Mendocino382643
Amador347441
Humboldt323033
Lake316941
Glenn223223
Colusa214013
Calaveras191849
Siskiyou178414
Inyo132137
Mono12144
Del Norte10085
Plumas6536
Modoc4604
Mariposa3957
Trinity3735
Sierra1000
Alpine820
Unassigned00
Chico
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Hi: 66° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 41°
Oroville
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Chico
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 60° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 41°
Red Bluff
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Hi: 48° Lo: 19°
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Red Bluff
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Chico
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 68° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 41°
We begin a cooling trend with rain & snow returning Friday evening into Saturday morning. More wet weather is expected next week with cold temperatures.
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