An open letter to Chico City Council Eileen Robinson comments on City's new campsites for unhoused people

Editor’s note: Chico resident Eileen Robinson shared a March 13 letter she sent to the Chico City Council regarding the City’s newly-designated campsites at Eaton and Cohasset roads. The city has set up two new sites for unhoused people to comply with a judge’s order.

Honorable Council Members and Mr. Sorenson,
I saw the televised account of Target Team members visiting designated campsite one and issuing citations because some folks didn’t have permission to be there.

photo by Karen Laslo
The City is marking 20×20-foot spaces for each unhoused individual who occupies this site.

The news report said two additional campsites were being prepared across Cohasset Road for the people being cited to move to. Saturday morning I drove out to take a look at sites 2-3. There are two areas with green fencing that is difficult to see through around them. What I was able to see were flagged stakes that appear to have designated the 20/20 foot area each person will be allowed to occupy.

The porta potties were outside of the gated community at the edge of Eaton Rd. No hand washing station was there as far as I could tell. The only way to get to the porta potties is to walk through the mud and step over or into the ditch running in front of them. I’m not sure whose bright idea it was to put the potties outside the fenced area but even my granddaughter could tell it was a disaster waiting to happen.

If blowing your horn and shouting at homeless citizens is great sport imagine how much fun it would be to tip over a porta potty occupied or not.

They need to be secured inside the gated community. But from the deep wheel ruts in the mud just off the road I doubt that’s possible. High wind warnings and heavy rain predictions bely the possibility people will be able to access either site anytime soon.

Who is in charge here. Oh, you are. Our citizens deserve better.

Eileen Robinson
Resident since 1964

It would be nice to receive a response from someone other than Addison.

photo by Karen Laslo
Two port-a-potties have been set up on the opposite side of a ditch full of rainwater, and outside the fencing of the new campsites.

5 thoughts on “An open letter to Chico City Council Eileen Robinson comments on City's new campsites for unhoused people

  1. Send a letter to to the Council person who is suppose to be representing that district. It’s their job to represent ALL who reside in their district…..guess who it is?
    Guess why almost no one who was rejected for cause at the other main sites for alleged cause choose to go to the alternative? I spoke at a Council meeting about why one size or type of program does not fit all. No one cared. Wrote to the News and Review about how we are housing victims with predators and drug dealer with drug users. No support from them.
    Hell we couldn’t even get an accurate count of the number of “Homeless”. Badly done census of the “Homeless” by Continuum of Care and the Census count whose under counted the numbers..
    This whole approach was doomed from the first. Its like treating everyone with a cough with cold medicine because it’s easier to treat a symptom that deal with the actual cause of the cough. . .
    It’s even alleged that some occupants are charging others rent to live at the alternative.. Mean while there are dead bodies on Humboldt and at a local supermarket as well as the Ponds and other places. The garbage generated by Warren is still lining areas of Little Chico Creek and other areas that the City has been swept under the rug while claiming clean up. The media ignores us out here and publishes what ever the City says is so.
    The Answer is to build dedicated camps with real shelters and separating the victims from the predators. Shelters dedicated to the real problems and not just the lack of housing.
    In the meantime get rid of the Councilors who refuse to face reality. The absolute Gerrymander of two districts speaks loudly about representation in Chico. It will be Four years total that I haven’t been able to vote for a district representative by the time the 2024 elections come around.
    Its not just the homeless being robbed of their rights. Neither side is winning this fight.

  2. Thank you for this important letter.
    Our city is being “managed” by the lowest common denominator of humanity. They have no conscience, no compassion and no common sense.

  3. I have a tendency to believe that making things difficult for the homeless is how the city works. I suppose sleeping outside in the freezing cold and not knowing where your next meal is coming from isn’t bad enough.
    Childish acts from grown people!
    It’s BS in my opinion…

    Imogean H
    Chico resident since 1984

  4. Well that is because the people running all of this don’t give a crap about anyone that is homeless. Some people are living at the sites because they are down on thier luck or other special circumstances, NOT because they are a sex offender or anything even close to that. But everyone at those sites gets straight treated like shit ! Nobody can ever get a step up in life or do anything to better themselves because the city and law enforcement keep putting them through the thier dramatizing steps ( making them move all the time, putting them in areas where they know the weather will destroy what they have built up for themselves). Which is they came up with the brilliant idea of the porta potties, to put them through hell so that they (the brass) can laugh and clown them. Not one person (the law or city) has ever went and talked to them people about what would help give them the step up in life they need to get back on track. Our great city leaders and law enforcement don’t give a shit about ANYONE who is less than they are, and I know this very well why…..because I am one of them. And the 5 years I’ve been homeless I’ve seen just what kind of shit we have running this city and in our law enforcement.i could of rebuilt myself many of times over again and bounced back from this if they hadn’t taken from us every step up we’ve made for ourselves out here. A person can never be rich when everyday he is robbed of his money !!!

  5. The characteristics of a successful managed campground include: A paid live-in camp manager; camp monitors; case managers; participant buy-in, a participant agreement, weekly meetings, food perp and storage areas, sufficient trash service, and water. Managed campgrounds have been shown to be cheaper than the alternative of increased use of emergency services. Research has shown, that communities where basic needs are met, minimize the circumstances that lead to violence. Meeting people’s basic needs makes our community safer.

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