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Butte County Board of Supervisors approves funds for Chico shelter site

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A sketch of the site plan.

The city of Chico is trying to establish an emergency homeless shelter on city property adjacent to the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds.

The city says it wants to put up to 177 temporary micro shelters on the property in south Chico. The so-called “pallet” shelters would each include two beds, heating, air conditioning and electrical hookups.

The city got an assist from the Butte County Board of Supervisors Tuesday when it approved $1.7 million to purchase the pallet shelters.

City officials Monday released a request for proposals to operate the 24/7 shelter site. The city says it’s identified $600,000 to support the operation of the site through the end of June 2022, and more money may be available.

The city aims to open the shelter site by the end of January.

The move comes after the city was sued this year by several unhoused people who alleged the city’s anticamping ordinances violate their constitutional rights. A U.S. District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction against the city in July, barring police from enforcing the camping ordinances against unhoused people.

The city says a court order is constraining what it can say about the project, because it’s related to ongoing settlement talks.