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SLO County Supervisors approve controversial housing project

An interim housing village is planned for San Luis Obispo.
An interim housing village is planned for San Luis Obispo.

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors approved a transitional housing project that has seen pushback from local community members.

In a 3 to 1 vote, The Welcome Home Village, an 80-unit transitional housing development designed for unhoused people, was approved this week by the board of supervisors. The site is meant to house people currently living in the Bob Jones Trail encampment and is set to be located in a parking lot on Johnson Avenue in San Luis Obispo.

Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg recused herself from the voting process since she lives near the site, but Supervisor Jimmy Paulding voted in favor of the development. He said projects like this are necessary to combat homelessness.

“We are in a position where if we want to get serious about cleaning up encampments, we’ve gotta have bed capacity, and I think that’s something often times the community doesn’t understand,” Paulding.

Residents who spoke at the meeting in opposition claim that individuals with addiction and mental health problems could pose a security risk. Mandy Boyle, a doctor at the Health Agency Campus next to the site, agrees with these sentiments.

“The burden of safety and possibly affecting patient care will start to play in and I think it will start to affect patients coming into the area,” Boyle said.

County officials said that 24/7 security will be provided at the site alongside a strict no-alcohol and drug policy.

The project will break ground in the fall of this year with officials anticipating people moving into the village in 2025.

KCBX Reporter Sarina Grossi is a Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo graduate. At Cal Poly, she worked as a news anchor and reporter for KCPR Radio and as the Digital Manager for Mustang Media Group. Sarina was editor-in-chief of her community college newspaper. In her free time, she likes to read, watch movies, do arts and crafts, and go to thrift and antique stores.
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