A week after the town’s City Council voted in support of Tehama County applying for a Community Development Block Grant for the development of the Vista Way Navigation Center for the homeless and indigent, the county’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday gave its nod of approval to apply for the grant.
The county is seeking $3 million in funding through the application for two projects – the Vista Way Navigation Center and the Sky View County Water District Project planning assistance.
Of the amount applied for, just less than $2.7 million would go to the navigation center project, according to the county.
Formerly referred to as the One Stop Center during city and county workshops on how to help and handle the homeless population in the county, the proposed navigation center will be located at 1445 Vista Way in Red Bluff, in the Vista Way Industrial Park.
The 10,000 square foot building is already owned by the county and has been used as a daytime help and referral center for the homeless for the past 20 years.
If funded, the project would transform the facility into a daytime and nighttime year-round homeless shelter.
Health Services Agency Executive Director Valerie Lucero said the homeless would be transported to and from the facility with walk-away departures discouraged and walk-up arrivals prohibited.
She added the facility will have security lighting, audible alarms and video surveillance, electronic locks and controlled check-in process. In addition, no alcohol, drugs or weapons will be permitted and smoking will be allowed only in an outdoor designated area.
The proposed facility will be open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, with approximately 75 overnight sleeping facilities with separate dorms for men, women, families and unaccompanied youth. Included will be shower and laundry facilities, meals and crates/kennels for pets.
A plethora of services will be provided, such as health care, domestic violence assessments, drugs and alcohol abuse programs, job and housing search programs, faith-based assistance services, education programs and much more.
Lucero said the project has received more than 30 letters of support and wide-spread support from organizations and agencies in the county.
However, the forward movement didn’t come without resistance from more than a few residents and businesses in the community.
The majority of those who have voiced opposition to the center, state they aren’t against having a homeless facility in the community, just not at the Vista Way site.
During the Corning City Council meeting when the council voted in support of the center, one business owner in the Vista Way Industrial Park said he is very concerned about a rise in crime, a reduction in business due to the proposed facility, safety due to a lack of sidewalks and increased traffic, and airport security as the proposed facility is right next to the airport.
The same concerns were voiced during the public hearing during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors special meeting and public hearing.
In response, the county said it will help the city with its efforts to enhance airport security and engage in other security measures to ensure the safety of students in nearby schools.