Peoples' Self-Help Housing

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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.

As California’s homeless population has grown, it has become an increasing concern in communities. Last year’s point-in-time count of California’s homeless populations exposed that about 130,000 Californians were homeless, about a quarter of the nation’s total. Contributing to the problem is the state’s chronic shortage of affordable housing. Working to address this issue, California created the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP)-- a $500 million block grant initiative to provide direct, immediate aid to local governments to address California’s homelessness crisis.

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.

Peoples' Self-Help Housing Facebook Page

Peoples' Self-Help Housing (PSHH) started 45 years ago in San Luis Obispo County, and since then has spread to Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

Current PSHH President John Fowler joined KCBX News Director Randol White to discuss the organization's history, as well as it's current achievements and challenges.

Fowler shared that PSHH—which has always been focuses on housing for low-income families and individuals—is considering an expansion into the much needed arena of work-force housing on the Central Coast.