SLO County to fund controversial Grover Beach homeless project

April 25, 2019

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 on Tuesday to approve funding for a controversial homeless services project in Grover Beach. [Cal Coast Times]

Supervisors Adam Hill, Bruce Gibson, and John Peschong voted to award $2.6 million in grant funds for a proposal to provide transitional housing for young adults and homeless services at the Hillside Church property, a 3.1-acre lot at 1935 Newport Avenue. While both supervisors Lynn Compton and Debbie Arnold spoke of the need to fund the proposed project, they wanted those involved to consider moving the project to a less controversial location.

“We need something in South County desperately and I want to allocate the funds,” Compton said. “My problem is this is in a residential neighborhood.”

On the other side, supervisors Hill and Bruce Gibson argued that the homeless should be housed in residential areas and that the board should follow Grover Beach Mayor Jeff Lee’s recommendation and approve funding.

“I think we have a chance to move forward with what our responsibility is,” Hill said. “The homeless deserve to find housing in residential neighborhoods.”

Arnold noted issues with the vetting process, and the timely notification of neighbors of the Hillside Church property.

Grover Beach residents packed Tuesday’s meeting, voicing concerns about crime, traffic, and property values for approximately three hours.

Neighbors described the planned homeless shelter and low-income housing as the “right idea, wrong location.”

Casting the swing vote, Supervisor John Peschong said the responsibility of the county was to approve funding and that it was the Grover Beach City Council’s duty to approve the location.

With Compton and Arnold dissenting, the board voted 3-2 to provide $2.6 million in grant funding for homeless services and housing at the Hillside Church property.

Plans for the Grover Beach project include 11 dorm-style rooms with up to 44 beds for homeless young adults, an administration office and, a case management office. The 5 Cities Homeless Coalition will oversee the facility and provide an onsite manager.

Plans for the second phase of the project call for People’s Self-Help Housing to construct 20 permanent homes for residents whose earnings are at or below 30 percent of the median income.

The Board of Supervisors’ motion included another $1.5 million worth of grant funding to be used for the construction of the first-ever homeless shelter in Paso Robles and the expansion of the existing ECHO Shelter in Atascadero.

An additional $400,000 was dedicated for a detox program at 40 Prado in San Luis Obispo.

With wide-community support, government officials and local homeless services agencies have worked together to provide a homeless shelter in Paso Robles. Initially, the North County shelter will be operational from November through March.

The 5,000 square foot, 36-bed facility will be constructed next to the Paso Robles Wastewater Treatment Plant on Sulphur Springs Road near the intersection of highways 101 and 46.


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Rambunctious

Bring back strong vagrancy laws…people think it was mean to arrest and jail street bums but it wasn’t…leaving them on the street is mean….arrest them get them the care they need and when their time is up let them go with a new direction in life….make panhandling illegal for the pan handler and the giver with strong penalties…..tough love works whenever its tried…..


AmericaTheFree

“LOCK ‘EM UP!” The mantra of the lazy, intolerant, apathetic and out-of-touch crowd; when they think that all else has failed, based on reality or not, just make a new law making whatever they can’t find a solution to, or just don’t like, illegal. Problem is? Usually it will cost you, the taxpayer, much, much more in the long run as incidents like that of Andrew Holland will increase, more law suits will be filed for overcrowded jails and abuse, new jails will have to be built and the cost of staffing those new and old jails will increase exponentially .

Vagrancy laws, along with curfew and loitering laws (as they were generally grouped together) were deemed unconstitutionally vague back in 1972 by the US Supreme Court (Papachristou v. Jacksonville, 405 U.S. 156 (1972)) citing “…it encouraged arbitrary arrests and convictions” and “…, it could in fact criminalize a variety of innocent activities.” Lets say Rambunctious couldn’t sleep one night and decided to go downtown and take a casual stroll, not going anyplace in particular, just looking about and had forgot his wallet at home; he could be arrested under the old vagrancy laws as he showed “no visible means of support”, was “nightwalking” and was “wandering or strolling around from place to place without any lawful purpose or object.” If you think about it, a large majority of the tourists visiting SLO could be subject to arrest, right? How would that effect SLO’s economy from the tourist trade it relies so heavily on? Probably not in a positive way, right?

One other thing there Ram’ ol’ man, explain to my dumb a$$ how exactly you would make these constitutionally illegal and bullchit laws “stronger”…

Just askin’…

Oh Yea! Panhandling laws have been struck down as well as it also violates our 1st Amendment Rights. Pesky a$$ U.S. Constitution, right?!!!


Rambunctious

If you leave them on the streets and turn the word “Homeless” into an accepted way of life its you that are their biggest enemy….if you allow them to take over the street corners to beg and someone gets hurt or worse it won’t be me that is to blame….


AmericaTheFree

“Homeless” is a term started by the “housed” community, and much like the term “Untouchables” given to a certain class of people in India, it’s meant to stigmatize a group of people into something they are not, less than human! I’d rather use “houseless” as all American citizens have a home and that would be The United States of America, or don’t you get that? And the word “If”? It’s the most abused word by those afraid of their own shadows, meant to cause ignorant based fear and loathing instead of understanding and acceptance.

I accept people first and then try and understand their individual circumstances, housed or not! If a person chooses to live outside of a house that’s their God given and Constitutionally protected RIGHT! Also, those who choose to serve these human beings, these American citizens, these Vets’, these children, those who are mentally ill, that are on our streets, have the God given and Constitutionally protected Right to do so!

You have approximately 1500 houseless individuals in SLO, how the hell will they “take over the street corners”? Hyperbole, pure and simple!

I’m the biggest enemy of those who would make any legal activity, any legal way of life they either don’t understand or don’t accept, illegal! I’ll be proud to take the blame for that, ALL DAY LONG!

And to end your comment with the “blame game”? Weak a$$ chit there Ram’ ol’ man! I think it was meant to dodge my previous posts question to you, “…explain to my dumb a$$ how exactly you would make these constitutionally illegal and bullchit laws “stronger”…”

Here’s something else you should note; Last year a federal appeals court found that anti-camping laws could violate Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment if homeless people have no choice but to camp. The opinion states, ““As long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter,” Judge Marsha Berzon wrote in the opinion. Later, she added: “An ordinance violates the Eighth Amendment insofar as it imposes criminal sanctions against homeless individuals for sleeping outdoors, on public property, when no alternative shelter is available to them.”

The war on the homeless is turning a corner, and it ain’t gonna be well accepted by folks like you, and all I have to say about that? Oh well…


Cheers!


Rambunctious

And the problems and mayhem continue to pile up….okay….


AmericaTheFree

No! It’s not okay!

Prove it! Plain and simple, prove it! Give me some cold hard facts backed up by research and numbers. If not? Save it for those who buy into your type of hyperbole and ignorance; those that would rather make new laws that will never work and end up exacerbating this dilemma rather than minimizing it.

And while I’m waiting for that why not answer my first question? You know… “…explain to my dumb a$$ how exactly you would make these constitutionally illegal and bullchit laws “stronger”’.


Rambunctious

I never said you were a dumb a$$….but dude….laws are made stronger all the

time….loitering…littering…..dumping….polluting….vandalism….all are laws that have experienced increased penalties over the years….saying we can’t is what has us in this fix to begin with….why not have a can do mentality?…why not try and make a persons life worth living?….why not try and help the people rather than feed them their drug and alcohol money on street corners?….I’ll never understand why people want to pat themselves on the back for furthering the potential destruction of another’s existence….vagrancy laws were in place to protect the lives of the homeless and society at large…I don’t see anything wrong with that….


Myself

So the county is going to GIVE monies to certain cites so they can hire more personal to get in on the corruption game, wizzing these monies away is a waste of taxpayer dollars, nothing will get done and the money will continue to go down a rat hole.

Didn’t I see where the Boys school in Paso was slated to be bought by Paso for around 4 Million dollars, our money would have been better spent on that project in partner with Paso and the rest of the county’s towns and cities, there the homeless would be treated and housed, no more panhandling, sleeping in the brush,creeks,bridges, fix these people and try to get them back into society.


kayaknut

I have supported 5CHC in the past, financially and with goods, but certainly that has ended when they forced this on us.


nazbol gang

It’s unfortunate but homelessness in America is systemic and can’t be addressed by band-aid programs at the local level. The politicians will end up alienating the working and middle classes in the process and then there will be a backlash. We’ll then get a right-liberal idiot instead of the left-liberal idiot we have now.


Mjd

Work harder, millions on welfare depend on you.


I know Hill and Gibson are knuckleheads, but John Peschong ought to know better


copperhead

I wonder if the vote would be the same if their neighborhoods were being considered.


shishkabob141

Paso got it right. Grover is in for a fight.

Hill and Gibson are two of the most obnoxious characters around.


Russ J

JUST like the Good Samaritan shelter in Santa Maria, these vagrants should not be allowed to step one foot inside this housing unit unless they are tested and clean!


Fedup

“Build it and they will come”


AmericaTheFree

I would encourage you to read the following, maybe it will set your mind at ease and relieve the ignorance:



Maybe all the bashers of the homeless community should also, as the ignorance is at epidemic levels in SLO


unlisted

THEY are already HERE.


Otherwise no one would want to spend money on a shelter.