Chico homeless campsite residents share stories – Chico Enterprise-Record

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CHICO — Nearly six months after the Chico City Council approved an alternative homeless campsite at Cohasset and Eaton roads, the corner continues to grow in population.

The city announced in August that it was aware of eight people staying at the site, which City Manager Mark Sorensen said has grown to 16 as understood by the city.

At the site, the number of people there as of Tuesday seems to be closer to 20, though it is unclear if all are living there, visiting or passing through.

Tents weatherized with cardboard and blankets for insulation keep between a 6- and 12-foot distance from one another. Being so close to the airport, loud planes frequently fly overhead throughout the day, though the noise seems to be less frequent at night, which is when more cars drive by with horns blaring, according to many of the residents.

Even during the day, at least two motorists hit their horns passing by Tuesday.

Some of the open space between tents at the city of Chico’s alternative homeless site are seen Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022 in Chico, California. (Jake Hutchison/Enterprise-Record)

Sorensen said the only other site approved by the city is a lot across Cohasset Road which is to be used should the current one reach full capacity. Early in the process of choosing alternative sites, there was some talk of a time limit in which people could stay at the site. Sorensen said that the parameter for how long hasn’t been established yet.

Those staying at the corner of Eaton and Cohasset have had to learn to adapt to dramatic weather, food and water shortages and uncertain, but often hopeful, futures. Four of the people living there shared their stories.

Sharing on TikTok

Ashley Threewit and Kevin Leeson are fighting the struggles of homelessness directly from their tent and documenting every step through social media.

Threewit created a TikTok account that focuses on both tips for survival in homelessness as well as mental health advocacy.

The married couple became homeless after Threewit had a severe falling out with her mother and subsequently spent time in multiple camps, eventually ending up at the site specified by the city of Chico at Eaton and Cohasset roads.

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