I live a few blocks from the homeless encampment on the greenway triangle where Pine merges with Cypress. When the city evicts this enclave it will adversely affect my neighborhood. The homeless will not disappear just because they are disbursed. When the Oroville dam system failed, the water did not disappear, it just flowed elsewhere. The homeless also will just flow elsewhere, into our back alleys, outbuildings, or any nook and cranny of which there are many in Chapman.
Several years ago we experienced a roust of some local homeless; one person moved into the back of the building next door to me and set it on fire. I was home and caught that, thank goodness. Another person set fires, again to keep warm, in the alley behind my friend’s house, and then wandered away and left them smoldering against the wooden fence. We were in much more danger than if the encampments had been allowed to remain.
Surely we could set up some decent campgrounds, with PortaPotties and hand washing stations. It is not Chico’s failing that our homeless population exploded, but it will be Chico’s sad failure if we can not respond with charity and imagination.
In the meanwhile, please leave those poor souls in our greenway in peace. Please do not destroy what little community they have managed to create for themselves.
— Catherine Riley, Chico