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San Luis Obispo County homelessness prevention advocates say they’re seeing an increase in elderly people seeking their services.

Rent costs in San Luis Obispo County have increased over 50% on average since 2013, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the elderly—the majority on Social Security—to keep up with the rise in costs.

Last year California’s homeless population climbed to 150,000, the most in the nation. Already communities have been struggling throughout the state to deal with this crisis. Now with the outbreak of COVID-19, there are fears that many in this vulnerable population could become infected with the virus. One projection suggests that up to 60,000 homeless in the state could become infected. How can you shelter-at-home when you have no home?

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

$5.5 million dollars was awarded to San Luis Obispo County homeless agencies and organizations this week. It came from a pool of hundreds of millions in state grants offered to help house the homeless and create services for homeless youth in counties across California. At Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting, many in attendance were excited about the generous new funding opportunities, but many others weren’t happy with where the money may be spent in south San Luis Obispo County.

An anonymous donor is offering up a $250,000 toward San Luis Obispo County's planned Homeless Services Center