A group in Butte County is working to put together an ambitious plan to end homelessness over the next 10 years, and a public forum was held in Paradise Wednesday to discuss homeless issues.
The forum was the final of three meetings with the other two held recently in Chico and in the Oroville/Gridley area.
The intent is to draw up ideas on how to fight homelessness in Butte County.
Wednesday's forum at the Paradise Resource Center drew about a dozen interested citizens.
The Butte Countywide Homeless Continuum of Care coordinated the series, held in different locations across the county because each area has its own homeless demographic.
For instance, Paradise has an unusually large percentage of homeless youths at 29 percent of the total homeless population.
The forums are an opportunity for the public to brainstorm ideas on how to squash homelessness in the county.
“We've been asking a couple of questions,” says Continuum of Car’s James Coles. “One is ‘what are the causes of homelessness?’, and asking the people to give the opinion and perspective on that. And then, ‘what resources are missing to help the homeless move out of that situation?”
Coles also says Butte County has a high percentage of homeless compared to other counties in the state.
And also unique for the Paradise area, 42 percent of the homeless population is reported to have a disability—the highest percentage in Butte County.
A final homeless summit—where all of the ideas are gathered throughout the series are discussed—is scheduled for August 15 in Chico at the Arc Pavilion on Park Ave.
The public is invited to join in at that meeting as well.