Chico Housing Action Team needs to follow same permitting process as any other shelter

27 Dec

Chico Housing Action Team is looking for volunteers to man secret shelters in various neighborhoods around town.

https://signup.com/client/invitation2/secure/2110378/false#/invitation

This is why I can’t use the mail box at the end of my driveway. This is why I have to  get up at 5:30 am to take out my trash bins. This is why I  can’t leave my garage door open for air while I’m running my dryer, or step inside for a drink while I’m working on my bike or car in the driveway.

Within the last two years there have been break-ins and other crimes within doors of my home and rentals.  Ironically, a neighbor of mine who used to work at the Torres Shelter had a window broken out of her vehicle, parked in her driveway. She said nothing was taken but I would say she got robbed of whatever she spent having the window replaced. A neighbor across the street had her window broken and her purse taken. I know it’s stupid to leave your purse in your car, but this was in broad daylight right within sight of people’s front windows. Another neighbor said she’d seen a transient and heard the sound of breaking glass but he was gone by the time she got out of her house.

For weeks a neighbor had a homemade sign in front of his house – “Please bring back my cordless drill, no questions asked…” He had left it in his driveway while doing some work, gone inside to  get another tool, tarried to listen to something on the radio, and gone back outside to find his drill gone.

My next door neighbor texted my husband one morning asking us to “be on the lookout for my red weed whacker…” which had disappeared from her back yard shed. This was particularly alarming to me as her shed is located well within her back yard, not visible from the street, surrounded by a fence with a gate, and right along side my garage.  She admitted she doesn’t lock her  gate – didn’t – but, the thief would have had to walk the length of her driveway, right under her kitchen window, to get to the gate. That’s pretty bold.

Reminded me of the man who came stumbling in through our back yard during a dumping downpour one evening. We were sitting on our porch, and we suddenly noticed a figure in the darkness, walking across our fenced back acre, open our garden gate, stumble across our garden, and then open the gate into our immediate dooryard. He was wiped out wasted, on something, didn’t know where he was, told us he’d fallen while climbing over our back fence. He would have had to travel across other neighbors’ property to get into our back yard. I wanted to call the police, but my husband reminded me that would be far more trouble than it was worth, and, taking this man by the arm, escorted him out our front door yard gate, out our locking driveway gate, to the street. He asked, “which way to the park?” and my husband pointed him on his way.

People treat us with suspicion because we have locked gates.  An insurance man once denied us coverage, saying Farmers wouldn’t insure us with a locking gate. A police woman who was investigating an incident at our neighbors once left a phone message for us – she said she’d encountered our locked gate while looking around our property. She had no explanation for being on our property.  She said she had thought to climb over it, but didn’t want to “taco it.” We were out at the time, the idea that a police officer would come on to our private property over a locked gate was pretty shocking. That gate cost over $100, and some big ass cop would have bent the hinges and required a new gate. How’d you like to come home and find your property damaged, and a note from some fat-ass pig saying, “Oh, uh, sorry…taco’d your gate looking for a perp…”   She didn’t even explain what had happened, didn’t identify the neighbor who had called in the complaint, nothing. She seemed to think it was weird we had a locked gate. 

But CHAT is allowed to take transients in at secret sites around town, with no public permit process.

 

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