Homeless

Courtesy of motel6.com

A Motel 6 in Paso Robles will be converted to provide over a hundred rooms for emergency and permanent housing for homeless individuals,  a project expected to be complete by the end of this year.

Angel Russell

The city of San Luis Obispo is clearing a homeless encampment along the Bob Jones Trail. This comes a week after SLOPD found the body of a man inside one of the tents, who they say died from unknown causes weeks earlier.

A camping site in Paso Robles that supplied tents, food and security for homeless individuals will be shutting down November 1, and city officials are working on finding a solution to house individuals ahead of the winter season.  

photo by Angel Russell

As food banks across the nation are overwhelmed due to the coronavirus pandemic, neighbors are helping neighbors with the use of Little Free Pantries. There are hundreds of these pantries around the nation in a growing movement, and some are popping up throughout the Central Coast.

Angel Russell/KCBX

A new campground of sorts is now set up for homeless individuals living in Paso Robles. City officials say the main goal is to relocate people living in the Salinas riverbed, where several fires have ignited.

Despite the raging COVID-19 pandemic, this is not just an election year, but also a very important year for everyone to participate and be counted as part of the 2020 U.S. Census. Due to the pandemic, both of these civic duties have become more complicated. Join Kris Kington Barker as she speaks in the first half hour with Tommy Gong, San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder, and Michael Latner, Ph.D., Cal Poly political science professor and Kendall Voting Rights Fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists, as they discuss the integrity of the 2020 election and plans to make voting safe and accessible to everyone. In the second half hour, Kris speaks with representatives from local organizations, who amid COVID-19, are working to prevent an undercount in the 2020 Census within 'hard-to-reach' communities. Guests include Devon McQuade, development and communications coordinator with the 5Cities Homeless Coalition; Brandy Graham, veteran support programs manager with CAPSLO; and Micki Wright, a senior volunteer services representative.

California faced a crisis in affordable housing even before COVID-19, so how has the pandemic affected the situation? During shelter at home orders, and the continued restrictions, many low-income tenants have faced job and income loss that have prevented them from paying rent, buying food and accessing health care.  Join Fred Munroe as he speaks with John Fowler, president and CEO with Peoples’ Self-Help Housing (PSHH) and Morgen Benevedo, PSHH's director of multifamily housing, as they discuss how COVID-19 is affecting affordable housing, including issues such as increase in need, resident safety, a decrease in production and capitalization problems for the future. Plus, what role the government has, and strategies for increasing affordable housing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Join Kris Kington Barker as she speaks with Heidi McPherson, CEO with the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County, Garret Olson, COVID-19 emergency operations manager with the SLO Food Bank, Lisa Fraser, executive director with the LINK Family Resource Center and the Center for Family Strengthening, and Janna Nichols, executive director with the Five Cities Homeless Coalition. They will be talking about the struggle of nonprofits to help meet the basic needs of the community as well as what a global depression could mean for their organizations and the local populations they help.

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?

Thomas Wilmer

Teresa Stephens, owner of the Lubbock, Texas Cast Iron Grill recounts her fear of the homeless, until she confronted her phobia and wound up embracing and making sacrifices to feed those in need. Join correspondent Tom Wilmer at the Cast Iron Grill in downtown Lubbock, adjacent to the Buddy Holly Museum, as Stephens shares her poignant tale that ultimately enriched and transformed her life through serving the homeless.

California just counted its homeless—a tally sure to be inaccurate, and politically weaponized

Feb 4, 2020
Craig Kohlruss/Fresno Bee

With yellow vests and flashlights, over 200 volunteers recently fanned out across Fresno to count homeless people. Along the railway, one group walked by a freight container with a mattress and shoes inside, and past a dirt cot enclosed in a tarp pegged to a bush.

Google Maps

Plans for more affordable, supportive housing in San Luis Obispo County are underway, and the project may signal an end to a south county skirmish over where to place shelter for the homeless. The nonprofit affordable housing developer Peoples' Self-Help Housing (PSHH) met with Pismo Beach officials in September to negotiate a possible location in the city. On Tuesday, the nonprofit announced it had gone into escrow on a new site.

Issues & Ideas: Vaping, lavender and a farm-to-school lunch tray program

Sep 30, 2019

On this week’s Issues & Ideas: the state's public health agency has urged Californians to stop vaping immediately, days after Governor Newsom signed an executive order aimed at curbing vaping among youth. 

Courtesy of KING 5

The number of homeless people in San Luis Obispo County increased this year. A recent report from the county’s social services department revealed the number rose by more than 30 percent in 2019, compared to two years ago. A group of people are hoping to help lower the numbers, by trying to create a village of tiny homes to house a portion of the county’s homeless, but there are still hurdles to overcome.

SLO County Homeless Census & Survey/ASR

According to the county’s department of social services, the number of homeless people in San Luis Obispo County rose by nearly 32 percent in 2019, compared to a count two years ago. The latest estimated numbers were released Thursday.

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.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

San Luis Obispo County officials, service providers, non-profits and residents gathered Wednesday to discuss what to do with millions of dollars in state funds, aimed at supporting the county’s homeless population. But the meeting became a passionate debate between recognizing a need for more homeless services, and concern over where to put them, particularly a shelter proposed in South County.

Courtesy of the City of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara may be adding some tiny homes to the city's housing stock. In hopes of securing more than $6 million in funding, the Santa Barbara City Council approved a grant application Tuesday that would provide money for 40 tiny houses for the city’s homeless population.

Midterms 2018: Proposition 2 aims for housing for mentally ill homeless people

Oct 16, 2018
www.bishopstreetstudios.org

Should voters approve new housing for an estimated 20,000 homeless people with severe mental illness?

While most people agree the end goal of Proposition 2 is noble, there is disagreement over two-billion in bonds needed to build the homes.

Rachel Showalter/KCBX

A comprehensive study of the California State University System, released in January, found eleven percent of students were homeless one or more times in 2017. This percentage was slightly higher among San Luis Obispo’s Cal Poly students, at 12.3 percent. Students end up homeless for a number of reasons; the lack of financial resources usually tops the list. But in this story, we meet two Cal Poly students who are choosing to be homeless to save their money for other uses. 

Rachel Showalter

San Luis Obispo County has a significant homeless population, many of whom own pets. A program offered by Cal Poly veterinarian students helps many of these pets receive health care. 

1,125. That’s how many people were homeless in San Luis Obispo County on January 30 of this year, when the county conducted a biannual point-in-time homeless census. 

Broadcast date: 6/1/2017

Just turn on the T.V. and you’ll find tiny homes are everywhere! While tiny homes aren’t for everyone, they have the potential to provide affordable housing solutions for certain segments of the community. Whether it be temporary housing for a homeless individual, a permanent residence for someone looking to simplify their lifestyle, or as an accessory unit to a primary residence, tiny homes can provide an attractive solution. And while these tiny homes have sparked a big trend, many municipalities have been unprepared for them from a code perspective, and so they have brought with them numerous challenges for would-be owners, builders and city officials alike.

Greta Mart

January’s extreme rainfall — though a welcome blessing for many— posed a serious problem for San Luis Obispo county’s homeless community. 

KCBX News, Dylan Ring

The recent closures of several recycling centers in San Luis Obispo County are putting a financial and time strain on members of the area's homeless population who regularly depend on the money earned by cashing in those California Redemption Value (CRV) cans and bottles.

SafeHouse San Francisco offers hope and safe refuge
Arwa Safdari

Jessica Li, Executive Director of SafeHouse in San Francisco talks about the tragic life of homeless prostitutes, often dependent on drug habits, years of abuse, violence, incest, and scorned by family and society.

Li explains how SafeHouse serves as a harbor of refuge. And the women are guided through counseling, nutrition education, money management, computer competency, and vocational guidance classes. 

Teresa Stephens at Cast Iron Grill
Thomas Wilmer

Teresa Stephens, owner of the Lubbock, Texas Cast Iron Grill recounts her fear of the homeless. She confronted her phobia and wound up embracing the homeless and made major sacrifices to feed those in need. Join correspondent Tom Wilmer at the Cast Iron Grill in downtown Lubbock as Teresa shares her poignant tale of personal sacrifice that ultimately enriched and transformed her life through serving the homeless.  

Thomas Wilmer

Phillip Cooley saw opportunity in a 30,000 square-foot abandoned, derelict printing plant in downtown Detroit’s Westside Corktown neighborhood.

Cooley purchased the foreclosed building for $100,000 in 2011 with a vision to provide low-cost commercial incubator workspaces for startups that could not afford market-rate workspaces, along with small businesses struggling to grow on limited budgets.