I agree with Ann that "the jewel of Chico", Bidwell Park, needs to be protected from people camping. I disagree with her suggestions on where to allow the homeless to camp. Cedar Grove and Five Mile are part of lower Bidwell Park and are unacceptable options for homeless camping. Literally thousands of people use or travel through those areas daily. With large gatherings of homeless using the bathrooms, using drugs and leaving the paraphernalia, it will be a matter of days before the "the jewel of Chico" will be destroyed. Just yesterday I had to call the police because campers had blocked the path in the "cork forest" (adjacient to Parkview School's fence). Any part of Bidwell Park is an unacceptable choice for any homeless camps.
Homeless camps need to be away from waterways and should have at least one shower/bathroom trailer so people can clean themselves somewhere besides our creeks and rivers. I suggest developing a homeless camp at Comanche Creek park at the end of Park Ave and E. Park Ave. It is close to the old and new Jesus Center and the Torres Shelter and in an industrial area (rather than near the "jewel of Chico").
Additionally, we have to do better getting the mentally disabled homeless off the streets and in shelters.
Respectfully, Kerry Quevedo
Susan Carter over 2 years ago
I agree with Kerry's comments above. I believe, that if the city cannot figure out an approved official campground with portapotties, handwashing stands and dumpsters, then Comanche Creek is the next best option. Bidwell Park including Annie's Glen and the Downtown Plaza should have their curfew hours put back into effect. And the CPD needs to be given strict guidelines so that officers have clear guidelines on what to enforce. I drove by Annie's Glen today and was shocked by the multo-.tent complex and other tents. I also drove through the park west from Peterson Drive. Only a few tents were visible from the road. I did not see even one porta pottie or handwashing station along the drive. Where are the campers going to the bathroom??? That is part of the CDC requiremenjt. Do you expect a camper to walk a mile or two or three to use the facilities? Please give notice and then in the required number of hours, move the homeless OUT OF BIDWELL PARK AND DOWNTOWN PLAZA. If our town were a little less hospitable to the homeless, maybe we would have lot fewer campers,.
Charles Withuhn over 2 years ago
The City has vacant land. We have a shelter crisis. Set aside some land for a legal, managed, campground.
Juanita Sumner over 2 years ago
A shelter crisis was declared because the city got $4 million to do so. The county got another $4 million to do same. There is no shelter crisis. There are shelters, and we have a voucher program. Just yesterday I noticed a Downtown motel is full of transients, no tourists. The people who insist on camping on public lands are just ne'er do well usurpers who refuse to abide by the laws we've all agreed on. This is a very small proportion of the population who insist they will have their way at our expanse. Period. Mr. Withun, what you are advocating is taking public land away from the public, but forcing us to pay to support it. NO
Charles Withuhn over 2 years ago
We have heard from some that housing is not a concern of city government. That may have been true in the 70's, 80's and 90's. Housing has become a responsibility of city government because:
The Covid 19 “shelter in place” strategy points out that our shelter crisis will exacerbate a more deadly result of the pandemic. This makes housing a public health responsibility at all levels of government. In Seattle they recently approved 40 new tiny home villages, calling them “...the most successful shelter [plan] we have to get people into long term housing.” In Sacramento is moving on a plan to build 500 tiny homes. In Marysville, their little village project was the recipient of a 2018 California State Association of Counties Challenge Award, which spotlights the most innovative programs in county government. Marysville's Police Chief Arron Easton called it “...a very positive difference.”
In Chico, in particular, housing and sanctioned campgrounds are a responsibility of City government to save our parks and our downtown.
Public safety is a government responsibility. Research shows that crime generally goes down around tiny home villages.
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