Write to your county supervisor and tell them to stop funding Butte County Behavioral Health

23 Aug

As my husband and I drive around Chico and use Bidwell Park, it’s apparent our town has an out of control transient population. These people aren’t “from around here” – read the police logs, when arrested, these people admit to having no local address and list towns up and down the state as their prior residence. That’s not “homeless,” it’s “transient”. 

At retail centers, parks, greenways and intersections around town, we see an increasing number of transients standing alone or sitting in groups, laying in their sleeping bags, smoking cigarettes, sharing alcohol, at whatever time of day. One day waiting at a local sandwich shop for our lunch, my husband and I watched a couple stoned out of their gourds, weaving in and out of traffic at a busy intersection, laughing hysterically, as though it was the running of the bulls or something.

It used to be worse around the Jesus Center and Torres Shelter, but now it’s spreading all over town. They walk out in front of cars on Mangrove Avenue, stand at medians at the Mangrove Safeway, wander dazed up and down the sidewalks, sit in bus stop shelters babbling at spirits. 

And they get violent. I’ve had personal experiences, I’ve witnessed stuff, heard about the weird experiences of my friends, neighbors, tenants, and people in line at the grocery store or post office. And today I ran across this face book page.


These are folks who, like me, feel the local media has got a “vested interest” in suppressing negative news about our town. I’ve always known the college, for example, has an obvious interest in keeping bad news about town out of the spotlight because it would  make it harder to get parents to send their kids here. That whole “Number One Party School” thing was a nightmare for the administration at Chico State, it  really made a difference in how parents perceive our college. And then high profile tragedies – drinking and hazing deaths at fraternities. The police have put us on the radar for killing people and beating up young coeds.  Now it’s the bums. The college has obvious reasons to pressure the local media to keep a lid on these stories. 

One man puts a finger right on the problem – “Take a look at the June 26th Butte County Board of Supervisors agenda. It is online. The county behavioral health department had 19 consent agenda items worth millions of dollars dealing with mental health programs. Is seems those programs are not getting to those aggressive transients on our Chico streets.”

Here’s what he doesn’t know – it’s these very programs that are bringing the aggressive transients into our town. “19 consent agenda items worth millions of dollars…”  Yes, millions of dollars in “transfer fees” – the county gets $550 a day per transient they take from other towns/counties/hospitals.

Furthermore, they can hold these “clients” at the county psychiatric facility – nick-named “The Puff” – for 45 days without their consent – you do the math. 

So as you scroll down this facebook page, reading about people from other towns ripping newly planted trees out of the ground at a business on East Eighth Street and threatening the staff with the stakes from the trees, throwing and threatening people with a hatchet Downtown, breaking into cars at the Enloe Center at Cal Park, lighting a fire with a blowtorch on the front lawn of the Chico library – how do you think these people get to town? They are transported here by Behaviorial Health employees from cities and counties all over California. 

When I last inquired, Butte County Behavioral Health staffer Dorian Kittrell, who enjoys a salary of over $130,000 plus about a $35,000 package, told me they get about $63 million a year in transfer fees. 

When that 45 days involuntary hold is up, the “client” is released on their own recognizance, oftentimes with prescription medicine. They are offered rides to shelters in Oroville and Chico, but they are not required to either take the ride or register at the shelter. 

Yes, contact your county supervisors and tell them, first of all, these items need to be set on the regular agenda. They’re on almost every agenda, under the consent section, where they pass without any sort of discussion. 

You realize, many towns/counties don’t even have a psychiatric facility, they just send them to counties like Butte.  

Speak up to your supervisor, write a letter to the editor, describe how the situation is affecting your life. Like another commenter says on the BCFAC Facebook page, I used to  believe these programs were for the good of the citizens of Butte County, but it’s just another revenue scheme that ends up costing us more than it brings in. 




10 Responses to “Write to your county supervisor and tell them to stop funding Butte County Behavioral Health”

  1. Jim August 23, 2018 at 6:29 pm #

    So they are actually importing homeless into Chico. This should stop immediately.

    • Juanita Sumner August 24, 2018 at 4:44 am #

      Yes, they bring people here for the funding attached, and then these people are here. Within a few weeks they are described as being “from Chico.”

    • Wreck yourself b4 you check yourself July 12, 2021 at 11:53 pm #

      Fact check yourself. Opinion check yourself. Ever wonder about drugs? Drugs can lead to symptoms like those of mental health. Drug use is not solved by psychiatric hospitals. Drug use is not the same as mental health. One can lead to the other, but just because they’re on drugs, it doesn’t mean mental health service can help them. Mental health help can’t make someone quit drugs. Quit crapping on services. Hold the drug users accountable. Not pointing a finger to just one or the other, but come on, see it for what it is. Someone has always got to blame someone. What a friggin wreck.

      • Juanita Sumner July 13, 2021 at 5:58 am #

        you’re off topic – please respond to the topic at hand. I’m not a drug or mental health expert, I’m saying, the county is bringing drug addicts and mental patients here for the money attached to the services, but they’re not serving them.

        You’re a friggin wreck. Maybe you should read the entire post before you start chattering at your keyboard. And it’s easy to be a bully, isn’t it, hiding behind a fake name and made up email address. Grow up or get lost.

  2. Elizabeth August 23, 2018 at 6:52 pm #

    CPS needs more regulations. My family was torn apart by CPS based on income level and mental health disabilities (ADHD. Anxiety and PTSD). We have 4 year old twins a 3 year old who is autistic and a 1 year old. The supervisor for our CPS worker has told us complaints will be ignored or thrown away. CPS workers have lied about our long history of mental health services and parenting education classes done voluntarily. Judge Robbins of chico Superior Court has made claims that anyone who takes prescription pills is a drug addict. CPS has claimed people with ADD are potentially violent and dangerous to children dispite being told we don’t have ADD. CPS refuses to return my children due to “general neglect” Because my autistic son would try to hit his head and would scratch and bite his brothers. Judge Robbins has made claims of us causing trauma to our children because we are “terrible parents” and our children are out of control because we get to see them twice a week for 1 hour each visit and at the end of visits staff have to carry out my children who are kicking screaming and hitting because they are unhappy to leave us. We have to drug test twice a week dispite consecutively negative tests for everything they can possibly test for which is wasteful of county funding considering we have no record of criminal behavior. No record of drug or substance abuse and no record of violence. Jerry a worker for AOD drug and alcohol program asked me and my husband to take part in services just so the county could get funding for participation. The system needs serious investigation and I’ve contacted the office of ambudsperson who has not been helpful. Judge Robbins in Chico CA hardly even allows my attorney to speak during court and my CPS workers have given false information to the judge to prolong my childrens detention. My children went into CPS with no visible injuries or scarring and are now covered in scars and acting out violently due to frustration from being torn away from my husband and I. CPS has also made claims that our housing is too small because it’s a mobile home which is established in a mobile home park with mailing address. Hard plumbing/water. Access to onsite laundry and each have beds to sleep in yet there are plenty of homeless people who have their children.

    • Juanita Sumner August 24, 2018 at 5:23 am #

      I’m sorry for your situation, I have heard one nightmare story about CPS after another. I have recently had friends who went through hell with CPS when they found out their toddler has brittle bone disease. When they went to the emergency room with an injury, they spent the next 48 hours trying to keep custody of their child.

      We also had a documented case here about a married couple, one of whom was a judge who presided over Family Court. His wife was a family counselor with a license to operate in Butte County. A family made a very good claim against them that they were holding them in counseling for the funding that they received. Other families also came forward to make the same claim. As far as I recall, the woman lost her family counseling license, but I don’t remember what happened to her husband, who was a judge.

      I think a huge improvement in our County would be a new district attorney, but I don’t know when that will happen.But, we need to stop taking in people from other areas and start helping people who already live here, like your family. Public Services shouldn’t be a nightmare.

  3. Angela August 24, 2018 at 8:27 am #

    First, I completely agree with you letter and you really hit some major issues, many I wasn’t aware of and it really angers me to know that these transients are here for the profit of BCBH. On another note, I agree that writing letters to our county supervisors is a great idea. If they get bombarded with letters it may be harder for them to ignore the issue. I think you would get a better following if, unfortunately, you provided a sample letter that people could copy and paste into a word document, print, sign and send in along with the address to send to. I’m sorry to say that there are a lot of people that complain about this situation, but do nothing or don’t have the time to do so. I would be happy to write my own letter, but I can’t say the same for others. The ease of sending a letter template in, makes it more probable that you will get closer to the response you are looking for from the community. #takebackbuttecounty

    • Juanita Sumner August 25, 2018 at 5:21 am #

      Thanks Angela, what I will work on is posting more information here that people can use to write their letters. I’ve had an enormous response to this blog, I never realized how many people are already angry about this issue. Maybe there is hope that we can convince the supervisors to stop accepting transfers.

      I guess that is what I really mean to say, that we need a behavioral health department, but it needs to be for people who already live here.

      • G August 27, 2018 at 7:41 am #

        The content of this ‘article’ is grossly misinformed and lacks concrete evidence. Inflammatory and biased ranting does not a truth make. Not that I would expect much ethical journalism from a Chico Taxpayers Association, the author and affiliation isn’t even listed. Sad.


      • Juanita Sumner August 28, 2018 at 4:50 am #

        I’m sorry – can’t you read the county budget? That’s all very real G.
        As you can also see, my name is posted on my comments, my entire, real name. I notice you post no name, with a fake email address. If you don’t like what you’re reading here, maybe you should attend some public meetings and hear what they are doing behind your back.

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