Keep the faith, build the shelter

The Chico Community Shelter Partnership (CCSP) is built on faith—faith in Chico, in our community, in sheltering and in partnership. One is hard pressed to know just when and where it all began. Perhaps it was four years ago in Mary Flynn’s back yard, when five people met to put Post-it notes on a flow chart in an attempt to create order out of chaos. No big bang went off, but a new universe was created. A new sense of community was beginning to evolve.

Keep the faith. There was the vision and drive of Coleen Jarvis that would not let a dream die or let the homeless become an “unmet need.” We inherited the legacy of Tim Torres, a man of many gifts, who in life reminded us of the power of a step in the right direction and in death reminds us still that the right direction is a powerful path. It is a path that lived on as CCSP and our new sense of community grew.

Keep the faith. It is a community that overcame fear and dissent to support CCSP in many ways. Our community opened not only its wallet to give generously to CCSP, but also its heart to give respect and hope to the homeless. We are all richer for these gifts.

Keep the faith. We grew up with a City Council that came together over an idea whose time had come. We were nurtured by our hosts, the churches and community groups that gave their homes to us so we could keep the doors open to the homeless for “just one more winter.” Just one more winter. Just one more winter.

Keep the faith. We have a path. We have a plan. We have plans! We have land. We have Steve Troester. We have architects, engineers, developers, lenders, suppliers, supporters, square-foot sponsors, builders, bankers, regulators, inspectors, new neighbors. … Our community and partnership are growing. And so is our shelter at 101 Silver Dollar Way.

Keep the faith. There is no real answer to where CCSP began. Like all good stories it doesn’t end. It lives on in the hearts and minds of the reader. It lives on in the soul of our community. It lives on in the memory of the 15 names read at the vigil for those who died on our streets this year. For those who told the story, who became part of it, it lives on in the Torres Community Shelter. CCSP’s new home is the “happily ever after.” It is a new beginning, a new story for the faith placed in us.

Keep the faith one more time. CCSP welcomes the entire community to its new homeless shelter. We have come to you many times for help and support. Now it is your turn to come to us. We could not have done it without you. Faithful friends, don’t leave us now. The next chapter is just beginning. CCSP is proud to invite you to the open house celebration for the Torres Community Shelter on Sunday, March 2, from 3 to 6 p.m. Come see what your faith built! For more information about CCSP, or for directions to the open house, please contact the CCSP business office at 891-9048.