Who is paying for new Paso Robles Homeless Services Center?
–With the City of Paso Robles embarking on a new and ambitious plan to help the homeless population here, we asked the city to review the finances for building the new Paso Robles Homeless Services Center and its annual operating budget.
The city is still in the estimate phase in determining the final cost of building the shelter, says Julie Dahlen, director of the Paso Robles Community Services Department. These are the current estimates for building the homeless shelter:
- Construction estimate – $1,600,000
- Architect fees – $184,000
- CEQA services – $17,958
- Metal building – $91,180
- Total estimated costs for construction: $1,893,138
The Homeless Emergency Aid Program awarded the city with $920,126 in grant funds, which will be used for these estimated construction expenses. The city will also apply for Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention Program grant funds as soon as the request for application is released by San Luis Obispo County, says Dahlen, to address the $973,000 remaining construction costs. The local homeless shelter in Atascadero, El Camino Homeless Organization, is also fundraising in support of the Paso Robles Homeless Services Center. Any costs not covered by grants and fundraising will be paid by the city.
What will the annual operating budget for shelter be and how will that be paid?
The city has a proposal from El Camino Homeless Organization for outsourcing the operation of the shelter which will require city council approval, so operating costs are an estimate at this time, Dahlen says. Once the Paso Robles Homeless Services Center opens in spring of 2021, the city will likely maintain a contract with ECHO for the staffing required to operate the center. Estimated annual operating budget will likely be between $300,00 to $350,000, Dahlen says.
Operational expenses will be paid with a combination of city funds, pending city council approval, grants, and private donations through ECHO. The city is currently contracting with ECHO for assistance in HEAP grant administration, site design, and fundraising efforts at a cost of $109,000 annually.