Paso Robles removing homeless from riverbed

March 4, 2016

HomelessSweep-campFollowing the lead of Morro Bay and Grover Beach, the city of Paso Robles is kicking the homeless out of creek encampments. Paso Robles officials say the homeless must be evacuated from the Salinas Riverbed prior to an upcoming El Nino storm. [Paso Robles Daily News]

Paso Robles city employees are in the process of booting 70 to 90 homeless individuals from their encampments. The homeless have been been camped in a flood plain, according to the city.

Assistant City Manager Meg Williamson said the primary concern is preventing loss of life and reducing exposure of citizens and emergency responders to the possibility of rapidly rising water and flooding in the river.

There were more than 40 different homeless camps in the riverbed, Stormwater Manager David LaCaro said. Some of the some camps had outdoor showers, canopies and other infrastructure.

With heavy rain forecasted for this weekend, the Paso Robles City Council voted on Tuesday to approve a plan to evacuate the riverbed and attempt to provide the homeless with shelter. The council allocated $69,000 toward evacuation work, a temporary warming shelter and an event designed to connect the homeless with service providers.

In December, Morro Bay officials kicked the homeless out of a city creek, citing possible flooding caused by El Nino. Grover Beach officials follow suit earlier this year, booting the homeless from an encampment for a variety of reasons, including a planned expansion of the nearby train station.

Shortly thereafter, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors declared a homeless shelter crisis and allocated $10,000 toward addressing the problem. The board of supervisors asked cities in the county to also declare a crisis.

Some cities, including Paso Robles, have since done so. A resulting increase in funding for homeless services, has led local nonprofits and charities to jockey for funds.


No win situation.

Damned if you roust them.

Damned if you let them drown.


You got it, just shut up and stop complaining about the huge use of tax dollars, and just give up more every time we ask for it.


What you’re seeing here is disturbing. Put how you feel about the homeless aside for a minute, and frame this in the context of local public safety personnel conspiring to push their own agenda. This is all about MONEY and how best to get more of it from the pocket of taxpayers. Overtime to push them out of the creek, overtime to deal with the resulting increase in contact with the public, and then increased federal grant money for local homeless programs, which all goes into the pockets of an incredibly incestuous public service community.

Black Copter Pilot

If one homeless life is saved is it worth it?


Well considering that many people are homeless not simply because of their choices but because of consequences punitively imposed upon them by the justice system, I’d say that we get back more deaths from each additional dollar spent than lives are saved.


SLOBIRD, since you know so much about Section 8 I guess you just choose not to address there is an 18 month waiting list, or that only a few vouchers are issued each year. Federally subsidized housing like California Manor in Atascadero has equally long waiting lists. ECHO in Atascadero can house around 30, including families and if you are unable to leave the shelter during daytime hours because of medical issues you cannot go there. Any other resources you’d like to share, that are available if people want to take responsibility and help themselves?


Kayaknut and everyone else! ALL LIVES matter, you can’t just pick the ones you deem worthy or you are no better than Hitler.


Not sure where you are getting your information, but you are either grossly misinformed or in denial. While there may be “lifestyle homelessness”, there are far to many people who want and try to take responsibility but cannot for reasons beyond their ability to overcome. I advocate for a homeless woman who is 65, her mother died and left a trust specifically for her because she has had a stroke and is disabled. The trustor kicked her out of her house and has power of attorney over her finances; she not only had no home, but no access to her finances and had been living in her car for six months until the police harassed her so badly and threatened to put her in jail. Fortunately one of the non-profits has given her temporary shelter. Now she must overcome hurdles of trying to gain back what has been taken from her and while unable to walk unassisted or be her own advocate get her finances and SSI established. And hopefully not run out of her allotted time at the temporary shelter and become homeless again. You can’t paint all homeless individuals with the broad stroke brush of judgment you are using.


There was a lot of broad brush in the river. If we do get the forecasted rains moving them just might save their lives and if not it is just water under the bridge.


“You can’t paint all homeless individuals with the broad stroke brush of judgment you are using”, you are correct just as you have your story I have one, A family of four, father on permanent disability, but yet I see him most days in his backyard of his Section 8 housing, target shooting, swinging a baseball bat, practicing with his lasso, and may other activities putting his permanent back problem in question. The rest of the family on several form of assistance, but their antics indicate work, anywhere would not be a problem. Shortly after receiving their monthly help, the parties begin, plenty of beer, until they have exhausted their funds, (our tax dollars) until next month. And when their kids start having kids, possibly already have some, what likely will be their source of income, “The System” and the circle continues. If I could I certainly would take them off the system and give their money to the lady in your story. So just as many have a story like your, there are just as many stories like mine, if not more.


A friend of mine who taught in Santa Maria had this explained to him by 10th grade girls who had their “future”, as described by the post, planned out. You are fool to work when you can be a single mother and make more and be incentivized to have children until age 47. The first child born in the new year a few years back was to a single woman in her early 40’s who celebrated the child’s birth as a free ticket until Social Security benefits she had never paid into.


Kayaknut, I guess I am confused. Whatduno was talking about a homeless woman who had a stroke who is barely surviving. You have gone on a tirade about a family that did not appear to be homeless living in section 8 fleecing the system. While I agree with you there is rampant abuse of the system, the homeless people are not the ones costing taxpayers all the money like the hundreds of people living in the brand new Oak Park while driving nice suv’s.


“the homeless people are not the ones costing taxpayers all the money” taxpayer money may not be going directly to homeless you reference but be assured big tax dollars are going to address that same “homeless” problem, from the duplicated taxpayer funded federal, state and local agencies who all claim they need more money to the cost of law enforcement to deal with the issue, and many other places taxpayer money goes.

Black Copter Pilot

Can’t paint them all with a broad brush, but who would live in a riverbed? I question those that chose to do that. ECHO only takes those that seek a path, the river folks seem to be happy in the pigsty.


Black Copter… There are plenty that I have seen that make this choice. The shelters will feed then if they are not intoxicated or some type of type. They can’t bring their dog, smoke in the facility but only in designated area and plenty of these folks don’t want to be told what to do and how to live their lives so they like this choice of freedom. I have volunteered at ECHO and we had a lady with 3 kids and 2 large dogs which she said were service dogs which she deemed were service dogs with no verification, She felt she was entitled to a “suite” for all their special needs. The children had no apparent physical disabilities, no verification that the dogs were trained, wanted to eat in “her suite”. etc. She threatened to sue, You have no idea how these people want their lives and feel the entitlement.

Very remember, we have a very good Social Service Program in this County, Section 8 Housing, food banks, etc. if any they want to be law abiding citizens and play by the same rules we are all required to adhere to daily.

Help is available if they learn where and what is available, abide and comply!

Black Copter Pilot

Amen to that, I do ECHO on an annual basis. As I said, those that can’t toe the line end up in the river. It’s a choice, though some are too mentally ill to know they have one.


“Very remember, we have a very good Social Service Program in this County”

The very fact that Socialist Services exists is bad bad BAD


The very fact that you do not know what “Socialist” means, is bad bad BAD.

There is a cure, give up.


Hopefully, this is permanent. Who gave all these people squakers rights. The sights in these homeless camps is absolutely disgusting. No pride, responsibility or want for quality of life. Very sad! People must start taking responsibility for their actions whether it is drugs, becoming a criminal, or living a carpetbaggers life with their dogs. There are enough problems, groups, facilities, social programs to help those that want help. Take responsibility for your actions and behavior.


Send them all to SLO and set them up in encampments at the court house like a few years ago with the 99% movement.

Let government employees trip over them on their way to work everyday.


SLO is responsible for North County meth-head encampments?


No, of couse not, but the slo government loves to coddle them. We need enough homeless here to the point of wrecking downtown, where citizens are so pissed that they are tarring and featherin city council members before any action will be taken to get these panhandlers, meatheads, alcoholics out of here.

Bring them all in. Lets get to the tipping point.


What you’re missing is that they are doing this because it is the best way to get people to support them spending more money and applying for more federal grants to “fix” the problem, padding their own pockets in the process.


SLO is becoming Portland. Wish we could deport all the Progressive loons


And we wish all of the ignorant haters would be deported, if wishes were fishes.

That said you should move to Arizona, Idaho or another country with no social programs, because California will only get better.

Get out while you have the chance!

Hater’s going to Hate.



Russ J

Why do they have to say “it’s because of potential flooding”? Wasn’t that supposed to already happen this season? It’s great that you found some money to help these people but please don’t B.S. us like that. The Republican party has blown enough smoke up my ass for the past 20 years to get everyone in the county high for a week. I don’t need it from our local leaders. Go Trump. F.U. Rubio & your GANG OF EIGHT.