For The Love of God, No Bum Camps in Chico
Yesterday I was shocked to see this article in the Chico ER, wherein one of our elected officials is suggesting a "free" campground for bums to leech the city of Chico. I wrote a response to the Editor. I'm not sure that they will publish it, so I am publishing it here as well. We have to stop this kind of insanity before Chico turns into the next Santa Cruz hell hole.
I am appalled that City Councilor Andy Holcombe is an advocate of keeping bums in Chico.
The fact that he is lamenting the beautification and invigoration of our town center is appalling and incomprehensible. Every citizen of Chico should take that as an insult and a personal attack.
With bums (or homeless people, according to the Political Correctness Guidelines) come crime and drugs. It is that simple. Why do people like Mr. Holcombe feel comfortable ignoring that fact? For other examples of California communities who have welcomed vagrants to their own demise, we only need to look south at Santa Cruz, where the downtown area is no longer a place families can go. You can’t walk a block in downtown Santa Cruz without being offered drugs, badgered for money, or harassed in some other way. Keeping and welcoming bums in downtown Chico will certainly take our town down the same path.
Dignity Village in Portland is a colossal failure, and for Mr. Holcombe to cite is as a possible example for Chico to follow should be a wakeup call for every Chico resident. Any interview with Portland Police, and with most elected officials, reads the same way: Dignity Village is a temporary solution to Portland’s massive homelessness problem, and it a failure. Dignity Village is not decent, safe or sanitary. It is a drug-ridden flophouse for people who generally aren’t willing to help themselves.
Mr. Holcombe also idealizes a “free campground” idea. My fellow Chicoans, there is no FREE campground. WE are the ones who pay for these people to destroy our town. We are the ones who give tax money to support societal leeches. Why can places like Carmel keep bums out and nobody blinks, but when Chico shows self preservation and civic pride, we are met with opposition from the inside? How can we let this go unheeded?
Chico is possibly the last quality town in California, and I feel that the residents of Chico need to stand up for Chico. Keeping bums out of our town and our downtown isn’t a crime. It is an act of civic duty; a duty for our community, our children, and our future.