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Our History

CHAT started in 2013 as a response to the growing homelessness problem facing Butte County. A group of like-minded members of the community set out to try to take action in helping some of those individuals living without shelter. The original vision was to investigate the idea of alternative innovative housing options for homeless people, such as tiny houses. With that in mind, CHAT’s founders began to consult with advocates in communities that had tiny home projects, researched best practices, and met with local leaders to educate themselves about the problems of homelessness and possible solutions.


CHAT’s first act as an organization was to launch a cold weather shelter, working first with the peace and justice shelter and the Jesus Center, and then with various faith communities, to address the urgent felt need for low barrier shelter. Based on the experience gained by offering the Safe Space Shelter program, CHAT’s volunteer leaders expended their understanding of homelessness, while maintaining focus on the need for permanent housing solutions. 

In 2015, still operating as an unfunded, volunteer-run program, CHAT opened its first rental house, renting out bedrooms to people who were homeless and willing to share housing; the start of the Housing Now Program. Since then, CHAT has added many programs to aid different categories of people in need, people with mental illness, youth, students, families with children, fire survivors, people with health issues, and housing for veterans. 

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Over time CHAT has consistently provided a caring, trustworthy response to providing sustainable, stable housing for homeless persons in our community. While CHAT continues to rely on volunteers for much of its work, CHAT has built on the successes of its programs and been able to add professional capacity. CHAT today operates with a dedicated staff of over 30, honoring and sustaining its tradition of grass roots leadership, volunteer involvement and community support. 

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