Unhoused people say they’re targeted, misunderstood A BB gun shooting interrupts an autumn morning

photo by Leslie Layton
Campers believe the hole was caused by gunfire aimed at them.

Sidebar to part II in ChicoSol series on homelessness in 2023.

On a Friday morning in September, North State Shelter Team (NSST) volunteers keep the mobile shower unit running during their weekly visit to the alternate site campground. Hope Commons Church has brought coffee and rolls for unhoused campers. Suddenly, a ping ping ping interrupts quiet conversations.

Then, a tide of irritation and indignant anger rolls through the encampment with the realization that there has just been a BB gun shooting aimed at the group from a passing car. No one was hit, but any of us – from the unhoused to the community volunteers to a pair of ChicoSol journalists on assignment – could have been. read more

Homeless people in Chico victimized Should violent acts targeting unhoused be treated as hate crimes?

photo by Manuel Ortiz, EMS
Jimbo Slice

by Peter Schurmann, Ethnic Media Services
posted Feb. 7

The Eaton-Cohasset homeless encampment sits on Chico’s northern edge, a motley assortment of weathered tents, a couple of dumpsters and a port-o-potty that juts up from the muddy gravel.

With hate crimes targeting racial, religious, and sexual minorities on the rise nationwide, residents here say they’re being targeted for another reason: because they’re homeless. read more

Pandemic is costly — and often violent — for women worldwide Chico volunteers address inequities on a local level

photo courtesy of DSA
Alexandra Wynter (left) brings supplies to a Chico woman living in a homeless encampment.

by Lindajoy Fenley and Leslie Layton

Alexandra Wynter is feeling optimistic – even in the middle of a global pandemic that has made a difficult life even more difficult for many women.

As a volunteer coordinator for an outreach program run by Chico’s DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), the pandemic has given her an opportunity to build relationships with unhoused women — she prefers “unhoused” to the stigma attached to “homeless” — throughout the community whose lives have been made even more precarious by the COVID-19 crisis. read more