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Butte County city, county leaders speak about homeless crisis

City and county leaders spoke about how to combat the homeless crisis in Chico, including Chico's Mayor Andrew Coolidge.

Posted: Feb 22, 2021 7:31 PM

CHICO, Calif. - Butte County city and county leaders share their ideas on how to combat Chico's homeless crisis.

"We have a responsibility to these folks because they aren't from somewhere else,” district 2 supervisor for Butte County, Debra Lucero said. “Moving people from here to there is very disruptive particularly during a pandemic."

The Butte Countywide Homeless Continuum of Care shows over 70% of the homeless population became homeless when they were living in Butte County.

"Some people believe, have believed that has added to the problems,” Mayor for the City of Chico, Andrew Coolidge said. “Some people think that is a solution for the problem. I think what we need to do is do exactly what we are doing is to enforce our laws when it comes to protecting our parks."

“It would be the same answer whether they were from Chico or wherever they were from,” city councilmember, Scott Huber said. “It just so happens a majority of them are from Chico or have been here longer than five years. We just have a responsibility to treat them in a humane manner."

The Butte Countywide Homeless Continuum of Care shows 70% of the homeless population is from Butte County and 80% is from Chico. 

RELATED: CHICO IS PUSHING FORWARD TO GET HOMELESS SHELTERED

Butte County Behavioral Health has resources available for those who are currently living on the streets.

"We fund programs like the six feet drop-in center which is a drop-in center for youth,” Scott Connelly with Butte County Behavioral Health said. “That is about a half a million dollar a year program that we fund. We have an intensive outreach team that is responsible for going out and trying to engage with the most high risk.”

Action News Now asked Mayor Coolidge if providing more resources helps or hinders the homeless issue.

"That is the $20,000 question really,” Mayor Coolidge said. “You know a lot of people would say that providing more creates a worse problem. Some people would say providing less causes a worse problem.”

Butte County Behavioral Health said they are working with a potential partner right now to offer a detox program for those who need it.

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