City of Chico works to tackle homeless crisis following Governor's demand

The City of Chico is taking steps to heed the governor's demand to take action in the homeless crisis.

Posted: Feb 15, 2020 10:33 AM
Updated: Feb 15, 2020 10:38 AM

Chico, Calif. - The City of Chico is taking steps to heed the governor's demand to take action in the homeless crisis.

City council member Scott Huber had three options for the crisis: low barrier shelters, opioid treatment and, homeless car campgrounds.

Huber says low barrier shelters will help get the homeless off the streets and get them some help in terms of counseling and the necessities.

"With the low barrier shelters, they’re run by non-profits who have all the bedding and the pads and everything else, we have a location that we're working on - on Fair Street and it's hard to know if there are some complications there. It needs an $80,000 sprinkler system and other things but it would be ideal for that purpose for low barrier shelter," said Huber.

Huber says that the opioid treatment would be beneficial for the homeless on helping with addiction and getting them clean.

Huber and City Council Member Sean Morgan tells Action News Now that treatment centers are an option that has been addressed and they want to look into it.

"Where there are homeless services, there are addiction services, there are job services, this is the one place you go if you want help need help this is where you go there are caseworkers and we can help you find what you need," said Morgan.

Huber says working with the homeless on getting counseling and treatment for opioid addiction would go a long way toward getting them back on their feet.

“There’s a group here in Chico that runs a sub-Oxon clinic which is an opioid treatment program to get people off of heroin and other opioids so I absolutely that we should look into that direction, right now they are associated with the syringe access program,” said Huber.

Huber says providing a location for camping and car campgrounds for the homeless would alleviate the problem.

As far as the areas themselves, Huber said part of the conversation is who would provide tents and what the area would look like.

“I think it’s a good idea for people to get off the streets but also knowing where it’s going to be and I think the location is important, as well. I don’t think it’ll work if its near school and places like that, I’m not sure how that will work," said preschool teacher and citizen of Chico, Dora Holt.

Huber says finding out whether the council will implement all three ideas at once or separately will play a key role on the timeline.
Huber tells us that the only issue is finding a location for these ideas.

The councilman believes by continuing in this direction, the city will complete the homeless crisis.

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