Homeless camp shut down

About 50 people evicted from unsanctioned ‘Farm’

Members of the local homeless population were evicted from an unsanctioned encampment in south Chico known as “The Farm” last weekend.

A 72-hour eviction notice requiring campers to vacate the site by 5 p.m. Friday (Feb. 24) was issued based on hazardous and unsanitary conditions at the property and in the adjacent Edgar Slough, according to Leo DePaola, head of code enforcement for the city of Chico. DePaola said some campers stayed until Saturday morning to help land owner Ted Ball clean up the property, and all left without incident.

“The Farm” was started last fall by local activist Joel Castle (pictured), who rented the property from Ball under the claim that he would use the 2-acre plot to grow vegetables and raise goats.

Instead, the population at the camp had grown to about 50 people before it was shut down. It came to a close at about the same time as the closure of the seasonal Safe Space Winter Shelter, which provided evening shelter and food for about 50 additional homeless people in Chico.

DePaola said staff from Butte County Environmental Health will inspect Ball’s property after he finishes cleaning up.