CHICO, Calif. — Like most of the Northstate, Chico is beginning to see sunny skies again after several days of rain. The drier weather brings with it revitalized enforcement efforts of park rules, which includes removing the unsheltered individuals who illegally camp in its public parks.
An area between Pine and Cypress Streets, deemed 'the triangle' by the community, is the latest public park to see these efforts.
Unsheltered individuals camping there were given 72-hour notices by Chico Police to leave on Monday. Early Thursday morning, officers reminded campers of the notices and returned shortly after noon with Public Works.
Officers went tent-to-tent telling people they had to leave while bulldozers and crews began removing trash and other items left behind.
Alexzander Hall, a 23-year-old Camp Fire survivor, was one of the several people evicted. He says Thursday was another devastation he was forced to face.
"We're homeless. We're not a disease," says Hall. "You can't just get rid of us and then expect us to be gone. That's not the way it works. We're people. We're trying to survive. We're like anybody else. Everybody is one paycheck away."
The question continues to loom over the heads of the community: where do these unsheltered individuals go?
While the answer to that questions remains unsolved, several advocates at the scene brought moving trucks and cars to help transport belongings to the next location. Police offered to hold on to items that couldn't be moved then-and-there at their station for at least 90 days.
Funding was approved during Tuesday night's city council meeting to move forward with the creation of new sheltering options.
Chico Housing Action Team (CHAT) has been allocated $282,933 of Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus funding to secure a non-congregate shelter site. Additionally, funds are still being sought after for the conversion of the Silverdollar Fairgrounds's BMX track into a legal camping environment that would be in walking proximity of the Torres Shelter.