City of Chico tells Jesus Center they are out of compliance, Jesus Center says “No we’re not!”

26 Apr

The Jesus Center has been serving the local homeless population for over 25 years. Complaints about the behavior of their clients started rolling in almost immediately. Neighboring businesses felt under siege by drunken panhandlers, vandalism, break-ins, public urination and defecation,  and worst of all, increasingly violent behavior.

Some longtime businesses closed or left the area,  pointing to the growing transient population as the reason.

Here’s my experience – my husband and I bought  an old Craftsman near the intersection of Park and 12th Avenues. The first time I saw it, one evening about 8 pm, there was a huge disheveled man standing on the sideporch,  urinating into the overgrown camelia bushes.

We bought it anyway,  and the neighbors were thrilled. It was a grand old houae, badly neglected for years, and they all thrilled to the notion of having someone living in it again.

We put a lot into saving that old house, it started attracting a lot of attention.  Within a couple of weeks we had a group of 30 – something bachelor friends who said they’d been waiting for somebody to fix it up, and we rented it to them.

The  first week they werein the house, our tenant Mike came home from work one evening to find a transient rifling their recycling can, leaving garbage all over the porch.

It is an old wrap around porch, with low Windows and patio doors that let right into bedrooms. One bathroom window, although very beautiful and an original part of the house, just had to go after I discovered how easy it was to pry open.

We owned that rental for about 10 years. One day I was raking the yard in between tenants,  my husband was inside painting,  and a reeking old man stumbled up to me, made a grab for my rake, and told me, “I do it, you pay…”

I told him I didn’t need help, that’s when he made a grab for me and invited me into the concealed sideyard for some romance.

My husband happened along just as I was about to lay the business end of that rake upside the man’s head. When he saw my husband the man sobered up and asked him for $20 to rake the yard – like nothing ever happened.  He continued to act same whenever he encountered us at the house.

He happened along one day as we spoke to our new tenants  – a group of four 20-something’s,  including an elementary school teacher. I told them about the man – too late! One of the women had already encountered him on the porch late one evening – he told her his friend lived in the house and gave him permission to sleep there. Luckily this group was older and more experienced, they told him they would call the cops.

Whenever we’d turn that house over we’d be eating tacos at Dukes Liquors or sandwiches at Chico Locker.  We had friends of various trades helping us, including our carpenter friend Charles Kidd. One day as Chuck was at the window at Dukes,  this crazy-drunk old woman – you know, their face is blood red with alcohol poisoning — steps up and starts screaming obscenities at Chuck, threatening him with an ass kicking. Charles,  a very sensitive man, just stared at her.

One day I watched Charles hand a local homeless man a brand new pair of shoes. A family man with a mortgage, Chuck was not rich, but he’d seem the old guy sitting at the door of Chico Natural without shoes, so he’d got in his truck and drove to Payless Shoes on Mangrove,  bought the guy a pair of low sneakers,  and driven back to put them on his feet.

Ha ha, how ironic – Chuck is a carpenter!

So what was going through his mind as this woman hurled spit and expletives into his face? His family – they had bought a house just two blocks the other side of Park Avenue,  and he was afraid to let his kids walk to school.

Jesus said turn the other cheek. I’m sorry to disagree but I think that’s enabling behavior.  Twenty years later, and the complaints about the Jesus Center are still pouring in.

I had to laugh when I read JC director Laura Cootsoona’s recent response to allegations – including that of city code enforcer Leo “I’m gonna stickittoya” Depaola – that the JC is out of compliance.

Do you love that – this woman is told she is out of compliance by the chief of code enforcement and she just says, “nuh-uh!” Don’t you wish you could do that?

And then Cootsoona used the opportunity to lobby for relocation of the center at the Silver Dollar fairgrounds,  on city owned property adjacent to the racetrack.

Why would she think it’s okay to locate a problem like that to a commercial zone? She refuses to take responsibility for her clients, claiming that was never part of the use permit. But she expects to take the operation to the county fair grounds?

Stay tuned – something stinks.

9 Responses to “City of Chico tells Jesus Center they are out of compliance, Jesus Center says “No we’re not!””

  1. Jim April 26, 2018 at 4:42 pm #

    I saw Leo DePaola the Community Development Director for Chico on TV making excuses for not enforcing the conditions of the use permit for the Jesus Center.
    Do any of these folks in city hall ever do anything except make excuses?

    • Juanita Sumner April 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm #

      Thanks Jim – yeah, the same Leo DePaola who was sticking Downtown businesses with what outrageous fee? was it $180 to have vandalized windows repaired? Vandalized by transients who are using items like “ninja rocks” to scratch expensive glass windows with obscenities, tags, what have you.

      Why do they protect the bums? In the case of Laura Cootsoona, they’re her meal ticket. Moving to the fairgrounds opens the JC up for all kinds of funding. As for DePaola, I think he’s just afraid to rock anybody’s boat, just wants to hold on to the seat of his pants and make retirement.

      He better have a boat, cause there’s a tsunami headed for the public sector.

      • bob April 26, 2018 at 6:24 pm #

        There’s too much money to be made off the homeless. After all, these bureaucrats have pensions that have to be paid. And these quasi-government agencies depend on a steady stream of homeless for their existence and for their growth.

        So you’d better get back to work so you can earn more money to pay the taxes your gooberment will demand. After all, Anne Schwab wants 24 hour bathrooms and tiny houses that these people can vandalize. Plus, you should put aside some money as you will need it when you become a victim of these transients’ crimes because the politicians, bureaucrats and cops won’t give a rat’s @ss about your predicament then so you will get no help from them!

      • Juanita Sumner April 26, 2018 at 6:37 pm #

        You said it – there’s too much money to be made. I believe DePaola is afraid of bullies like Schwab, he wants to stay out of the whole thing, keep that sweet daary and pension.

  2. bob April 28, 2018 at 3:56 pm #

    Well, if you are against the Old Brown Buzzard stealing more of your money then you’re a free loader according to him. This despite the fact that California spends $84,005 per mile to maintain its highways, compared to a national average of $28,020—while ranking 46th in the quality of its urban highways.

    Are you outraged yet?

    Anyone voting against the repeal of all those tax increases (gas, diesel, car) needs to read this article! It is a must read.

    • bob April 28, 2018 at 3:59 pm #

      And if you’re against these tax increases the Brown Buzzard’s Demonrat buddies will call you a “fringe loonie.”

      • bob April 28, 2018 at 4:05 pm #

        And they are using these tax increases to encourage counties and cities to further increase taxes:

        “Another $200 million in annual road funding is allotted in “self-help” funds to counties that have increased sales taxes to fund transportation. That would make Los Angeles County eligible, as its voters passed a sales tax hike for that purpose in 2016.”

      • bob April 28, 2018 at 4:09 pm #

        My guess is the voters are so brainwashed they won’t vote to repeal or maybe the Demorats will come up with a trick to keep this off the ballot.

        In any case, if these tax increases stick (and remember the gas tax will go up another 7 cents next year and all these taxes go up automatically every year as they are indexed to inflation) the voters will get another chance to learn the lesson of how they are being ripped off when they see the roads do not improve.

      • Juanita Sumner April 28, 2018 at 5:03 pm #

        Your prayers are answered – maybe – Carl DeMaio says he has more than enough signatures to put the gas tax repeal on the ballot!

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