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Paso Robles makes move to address area's homeless situation ahead of stormy weekend

The City of Paso Robles is working to clear out the homeless population from the Salinas Riverbed prior to this weekend's predicted heavy rains. 

The City Council voted unanimously this week to approve the action. Mayor Steve Martin says the Salinas River evacuation is just the immediate first step in an overall homelessness project.

The city is also working on a future warming shelter plan and connecting the homeless population with long-term resources. Martin says this is a milestone moment for the city on this issue.

"There have been actions in the past that sort of addressed on an ad-hoc basis," said Martin. "But over the last year, this is the first time that I think, that we've really seen the emergence of this coordinated community effort, both inside our city and with agencies outside of our city to start to address the issues of homelessness in a more coordinated fashion."

The Mayor says he's not sure if there is enough room at Paso-area warming centers to take in the estimated 70 to 90 people currently living in the Salinas Riverbed.

The City has begun working with Paso Cares, a nonprofit organization formed in 2012 to advocate for the homeless, provide meals and create area warming shelters.