Debate stirs over proposed homeless care center in Oroville

Steve Lambert, Supervisor for District 4 in Butte County, stands in front of his office in Oroville.

A town hall meeting was held in the gymnasium of Nelson Avenue Middle School in Oroville on Tuesday night to discuss a new proposal that would provide housing for homeless suffering from mental health issues in Butte County.

Butte County Supervisor Steve Lambert said there is concern among people who live in the neighborhood of the proposed site, due to confusion about the project.

Base Camp Village, INC., a non-profit corporation, filed plans with the Butte County planning department for a 28-bed residential care home for mentally disabled homeless people.

The company already bought 4.4 acres in Oroville that they plan to use as the site of the care home, pending planning commission approval.

Not everyone is on board.

"The neighborhood's not too excited about that," Lambert said. "So, tonight's meeting is to explain the project. To get the truth out there. I don't know if it changes the decision of the people who live there, but at least they know what it really is."

The cost to build the care center would be $600,000 for the building, and another $200,000 for the land, mostly funded by donations from supporters of the project in Butte County. Although, most of the money donated has come from the family of Ronald A. Reed, director of Base Camp Village, Inc.

Lambert says he doesn't have an opinion on the project yet, but views Tuesday night's meeting as a way for people to become informed.

For the project to be approved, it must go through the planning commission, and ultimately the Board of Supervisors in the fall.

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