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County is third worst in nation at sheltering homeless 

Estimated 787 are homeless in North County

homeless paso roblesSan Luis Obispo County is one of the worst areas in the nation when it comes to sheltering the homeless, according to the recently-issued federal Annual Homeless Assessment Report. With just 90 percent of homeless people sheltered, the county is third worst county in the nation, the reports says. Only two Florida counties rank worse.

The figures are based a 2013 census, in which 2,186 homeless persons were counted face-to-face in San Luis Obispo County in a 24-hour period. The 2013 report does not break down the figures by area of the county, but the 2011 count found that 36 percent were in the North County. That works out to about 787 homeless people living in North County.

“Paso Robles has no homeless shelter and no warming shelter to keep homeless people warm and dry on very cold and rainy nights,” says Pearl Munak, president of Transitional Food & Shelter, a Paso Robles-based non-profit that helps homeless people.

“Paso Robles police ticket persons found sleeping outdoors or in a vehicle,” Munak says. Paso Robles city ordinance forbids sleeping outdoors or in a vehicle. The county has a similar ordinance.

The overnight homeless shelter in Atascadero is available to those from Paso Robles. But it must often turn away single men because of space limitations, she says. “The Atascadero shelter opens its dining room on very cold and rainy nights, but homeless people from Paso Robles often lack transportation to go there. The busses stop running before the homeless can decide whether to go there on a cold or rainy night.”

Transitional Food and Shelter wants to open a warming shelter in Paso Robles. “Recreational vehicles and a place to store them when not in use have been offered for this purpose,” Munak says. “A place to park the vehicles on cold or rainy nights has not been found yet and no indoor space has been found, she says.

To get involved, contact Pearl Munak at president@nowheretogo.com.

About the author: Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the editor and publisher of the Paso Robles Daily News.

15 Responses to County is third worst in nation at sheltering homeless

  1. Super Dave

    One only needs to go to the “homeless” kitchen in the 1700 block of Riverside Avenue at 6 pm. Watch the number of people driving cars and motorhomes to the place to receive their free meals. The greed for free stuff out weighs the number of truly needy people 10 to 1 there. This report seems to be setting up CAP-SLO to get more grant money to “help” the homeless. Decode all this- More money for yet another bureaucracy operation. Just say No!

    • Alex

      It is people like u superdave that shold be ashamed of themselves. What did Christ say. Get out of Paso n move to Beverly hills

  2. Barber Joe

    Let us not forget… the homeless can always pop into any of the paso area complimentary wine tasting rooms for free wine and cheese. Thanks to the always generous wine community for offering help to those in need, keeping our community in their hearts and thoughts.

    • Alex Sanchez

      Barber what are you talking about??? Get a clue! The wine snobs are the ones who want the homeless to disappear!

  3. Robert W Bell

    I called the “homeless” kitchen on Riverside to donate money for Hotel rooms, but after asking about the screening of the people that go there to find out if they screen for illegal aliens,the reply was no. The person on the other end of the phone said after working at shelters on the central coast for more than 25 years they had seen a steady increase of illegals utilizing the “free” services. So I donated to the Wounded Warriors project and will continue to do so.

  4. Lynne Gamble

    In 2011, as in other years, the homeless were over counted. They took figures from the public schools that showed kids that lived with relatives, etc. and counted them as homeless. They admitted this in their counting but still used the figures to “show” homeless children in this county. So, the comparative figures are wrong.

    I think people in Paso are willing to shelter our own homeless in something like a Salvation Army facility where there are rules and regulations and efforts to help people out of their circumstances. People are not willing to help with an expensive CAPSLO type governmental, “everybody come to Paso”, facility that would encourage more lifestyle or drug addicted homeless to move here.

    Pearl Munoz has property right outside of Paso; why doesn’t she consider housing these RVs and asking Paso to simply bus people to
    her property for overnight shelter?

    Paso.

    • Alex Sanchez

      The figures here are actually much higher because their are many in the shadows that stay out of public view

  5. John Hardisty

    I just love reading the comments from smug-conservative Christians. I thought Jesus loved the poor.

  6. Super Dave

    Dear “Lefty” Hardisty, who said all these comments came from Christians? You did, so you could go on and spew your holier than though attitude. Back to the phone lines, there’s a call in show waiting for your complaints of the day.

  7. Lynne Gamble

    From what I’ve seen, the people in Paso who help the homeless consist of Christians, Conservatives, Liberals, and Others. The idea that Christians and Conservatives are against the homeless is just a political tactic from the far left designed to keep the Democrats in power. When the economy is stagnant and jobs are scarce, the poor suffer more than anyone else. Obama’s solution is to provide more welfare; Republicans see the answer to be job creation/better economy. Regardless, people in Paso know that you don’t just throw money into a bureaucracy that takes up to 70% of the money to fund worker salaries. You ponder the best way to help the homeless as individuals, and with respect for each person and their situation.

  8. Alex

    Freddie people do need to be tested for drugs n alcohol when sheltered. Also rules need to be followed. But yes the homeless are not treated well in north county

  9. Alex

    Lynne Gam you obviously dont know the facts n u are nieve or do not give a hoot for the poor. Republicans only help the rich!

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