We have a crisis. We need more housing and more shelters.
The City has an under utilized parking lot at Humboldt and Fir. They could put up a temp fence and have a safe parking lot.
How can we call ourselves civilized while leaving so many to suffer outside? Let's get going with more shelters.
This proposal would help. Let's create a managed, clean and safe campground. The current situation is so dangerous.
I have lived blocks from the tracks since '72. The train horn is way way louder than it used to be. And the fact that people still get killed on the tracks is proof that the louder horn does no good! In other countries the train horns are not as loud. In the 70's and 80's the train horn seemed no louder in my back yard than a car horn at a distance. Now they are so loud you can't carry on a conversation 'til it's over. The Preamble to the Constitution has the words, "...to preserve the domestic tranquillity..." Sleep deprivation is a form of torture that can lead to irrational behavior. Is it any wonder some of the high crime areas are near railroad tracks? I submit that the sanity provided by a good night's rest for thousands may be more important than the occasional inevitable fatality that will happen no matter what and no matter how loud the horn is. I'm aware of an intentional suicide on the tracks. Some deaths will happen no matter what.
There is another set of north south tracks west of Chico that goes through towns less populated. Why not ask Union Pacific (888-870-8777) if they could schedule more of the freight traffic, that would be coming through Chico between the hours of midnight and 5 am, on those tracks?
This is a plan that is working in several other towns. CHAT can make it work here.
Dear Crystal, It's too bad you didn't read the complete Simplicity Village plan before you made your comments 11/19/19. The tiny homes of Simplicity Village will each have electric power, a heater and a swamp cooler. Each tiny home (depending on the capability of the resident) will either have a regular toilet that will flush to the City sewer or a camping Sani-Pottie that flushes to a holding tank. In any event, the way the Village is laid out, every dwelling will be only 10 feet to a maximum of 20' from a community building that will be open all the time and have all the amenities. When they put in a shelter in a north Sacramento neighborhood, crime went down 49%. Please stop by our booth at the Saturday Farmers' Market to learn more.
The Simplicity Village team meets regularly with Butte County Mental Health and Social Service agencies working on the details for their participation on-site at Simplicity Village (SV). The SV Plan includes a shuttle van and paid staff to drive participants to the store and appointments. The SV Plan has strict building code requirements. All the structures will be inspected by the Chico Building Dept. What is "out of control" is the number of seniors who are sleeping in places not meant for human habitation.
The contract with the City has specific load requirements (strength) that the walls, floor and roof have to be built to, including snow load. "Corralling people behind fences..." all the participants are free to come an go as they like. I wonder, what is so "abhorrent" about a typical residential fence to keep dogs in and transients out?
We've built four of prototype tiny homes. You can see them in church parking lots at 2430 Mariposa Ave. at East Ave., 735 W. East Ave., 295 E. Washington Ave. and one in my backyard. These are tough little houses built to the same standards as most of the older single family homes in Chico. Insulated and wired 2x4 walls; Typical insulated 2x6 subfloor construction; insulated ceiling with ceiling fan; running water to a sink (when finished). With a solid core front door that locks. How is this more "abhorrent" than sleeping on the street with the constant fear of being mugged or worse?
"Body found 11/29/19 homeless woman died from exposure found near Lindo Channel at the Esplanade". 4/5/19 ER front page. She is the ninth to die outside, in our area, for lack of shelter, in recent history, by our count. You would have Chico known for more deaths on the street per capita? Simplicity Village is a plan that is working, saving lives, in other towns CHAT can make it work here.
These tiny homes you're complaining about are 8' x 16' ...about the size of a typical RV. Residents at Hope Village in Medford and Opportunity Village in Eugene credit the tiny homes with saving their lives.
We have testimony from several police chiefs that think the village in their area has been a "positive thing" and ..has resulted in a "reduction of crime".
At Opportunity Village every year or so as many as a third of the participants move on to regular housing, a move that is nearly impossible if you're living on the street. This is not going to be the same forty people at Simplicity Village forever. This is bridge housing to help people transition. Additionally, a percentage of the rent they pay goes into an individual savings account for each participant available upon departure. So they'll have a little nest egg when they move on.
Simplicity Village is a plan to create new quality housing. Look at the tiny homes on exhibit in the church parking lots that were mentioned earlier. They are a far cry from "ghetto sheds". A few new subdivisions is a great idea, but those plans are years out. In the mean time people need a safe, dry place to be at night as soon as possible. The Simplicity Village Proposal is the result of several visits by several of our group to successful tiny home villages in several cities; meetings on Organizational Structure by our Board of Directors (12 people); meetings of the SV Steering Committee (13 people); meetings with people at the Torres Shelter and the Jesus Center; our Advisory Board (12 people) that includes contractors, lawyers, a medical doctor, an architect, a social worker, a developer, and IT people; Budget Committee (7 people) including a CPA. Simplicity Village has offers from at least three leading innovative technology general contractors to do model homes at SV to show off the efficiencies of each of their styles of building. The Simplicity Village Proposal represents the best efforts of some of the leaders of our community to create a new housing development that will be a source of pride for Chico. Our City Manager said he thought "Simplicity Village would be a model for other communities".
All those committees? Simplicity Village is based on plans that are working successfully in other towns. A "camp" suggests something much less than we propose. The concept of Simplicity Village was approved by the Chico City Council on a 6 to 1 vote. Lawsuits are pretty common in our culture. They usually take months not years and the current case can be settled out of court. Let's see what happens. Another homeless Chico woman died outside of exposure the other day. CHAT is working in innovative ways to house as many people as possible, as soon as possible. Dignity Village has been shelter for satisfied participants for 17 years. Opportunity Village has been sheltering people successfully for about 5 years. And by some accounts they have saved lives. Research has shown tiny home villages to be the most efficient way to house the most amount of people in the least amount of time.
The homeless people I have talked to want a door that locks.
"...real homes they can be proud of..." You are talking about pride, and I am talking about saving lives.
According to the Latest Point In Time Survey there are about 160 people in our area over 55 years of age or over that are unsheltered. They need shelter as soon as they can get it. Ten have died outside in recent history.
"The that money would have gone a lot further..."? You propose we veto an improvement on our homeless situation because of, "...What happens when..." ? Simplicity Village is paid for by the rents on the tiny homes at a cost of $9 per person per night. $100,000 is what it took to launch Opportunity Village. Some of those residents say Opportunity Village saved their lives. If you talk to the Butte County Social Service providers, ...the ones I talk to... say they're overwhelmed. What makes you think CHAT is suggesting that any one of their four programs are "better" ? CHAT is merely offering additional help for a situation that is a crisis and getting worse. We are in the midst of the most urgent and tragic human crisis to hit the streets of Chico in our lifetime.
The Plaza used to be shaded...by trees. It was wonderful.
There is a lot of data out there that backs up this idea. Shelters make neighborhoods safer.
This idea is preferable to the status quo.