SLO County sees 32 percent spike in homelessness

August 2, 2019

San Luis Obispo County’s homeless population spiked by 32 percent between 2017 and 2019, according to a newly released county report. [Cal Coast Times]

This January, officials counted 1,483 homeless individuals in SLO County. In 2017, the county’s homeless population was 1,125.

County Homeless Services Coordinator Laurel Weir said in a statement that an increase from the 2017 total was expected because, two years ago, heavy rains impacted the count.

“We expected some increase because heavy rains in 2017 would have caused more people to seek shelter rather than remain in riverbeds and other waterways where they normally would have stayed,” Weir said. “Local agencies also reported an average increase in the number of homeless persons seeking assistance. Many similar communities across California are also seeing a rise in homelessness.”

SLO County’s homeless tally has previously been higher. In 2013, there were 2,186 homeless people in the county. The total dropped to 1,515 in 2015.

Among the county’s current homeless population, 79 percent are unsheltered and 21 percent are sheltered. The county says 298 of the individuals are considered chronically homeless.

There are currently 67 homeless families in SLO County totaling 222 individuals, according to the report. Likewise, there are 23 unaccompanied homeless children, all of whom are unsheltered.

SLO County additionally has 144 homeless veterans.

The city of SLO has the largest homeless population among cities and communities in the county. Most of SLO County’s homeless who were surveyed are either from the United States or have a connection to the area, according to the county.


1 in 3 homeless are mentally ill; ie, schizophrenic. I grew up with several men whom developed this. From UC and 4.0 gpa to living outside. I am so bothered by people not stating facts about people whom fell through cracks, including neglected Veterans. Drugs are a subset to a primary issue, not the issue at all. And schizophrenia is a genetic mutation of the brain that takes one year to develop, not any different than brain cancer/autism/retardation in severity. But, people whom can’t defend themselves are easy to pick on. And some people here love to pick on the down and out.


To people whom don’t like facts. Paso ‘ s biggest threat and America per capita are White Nationalist Christians. God bless and help the souls lost due to this. Our Walmart could have been Texas. Your local mentally ill homeless isn’t packing heat AR15 stlye. Up North in Gilroy, White Nationalist. Texas, White Nationlist. Homeless should fear us as America stated below. They should fear some commenter’s on here it seems, stoking hate and “alternative facts; Kelly Conway”. Racism will soon be labeled terrorism I pray, I pray. Domestic Terrorism. You Christians should do something about this, your Tarnishing a separatist name; Jesus was a homeless Nomad. How dare people here desecrating Jesus; the Anarchist and Separatist. Or do any of you read the bible, new and old, I have. Read the book, Christ out of Egypt; food for thought, hopefully. And our racist president isn’t helping homeless or Veterans, did we forget the scandal involving the man Running Veterans Affairs under Trump?


Hey oldtimer, there is this thing called evidence. You don’t seem to be giving any evidence for your assertions.

The Walmart shooter and the Dayton, OH shooter were Elizabeth Warren supporters. The Dayton shooter was an Antifa supporter. They are more in line with your various rants in CCN.

How are these types related to Trump? Please provide evidence that Trump is a racist other than your utterly nonsensical arguments.

The real terrorist group in the U.S. is Antifa and it is in line with the Democratic Socialist Party, not with Republicans. Again, a terrorist group that are in agreement with your writings.

Jesus a nomad? Yeah, just ignore the four gospels that imply that his base was essentially in Capernaum.

The sad thing is that if you would bother to speak to someone on the other side you just might learn something (and maybe teach them something as well).

But you won’t do that. It is too much a threat to your worldview.

Ben Daho

You’re insane. One of the shooters spelled Trump with weapons. How can you blatantly lie like this? White Nationalists did the shooting. Antifa is ANTI FASCIST! How are you against that?

Nothing you said is true. How did a Russian gain access to this site?

Is this a Cal Poly social experiment on Trolling?

Democratic socialism has NOTHING TO DO WITH TROUBLE!

Sad to see clueless people post. Comrade, go back to Moscow.

coronet blue

I think your “1 in 3” stats are way off. Maybe 1 in 10 unless you start including personality disorders, like not getting along with other people or being generally sociopathic, or drug/alcohol issues. There is plenty of help for people that want it, the others; well they are making a choice. I’m not in favor of facilitating their choice to live outside of societal norms.


That’s because the SLO police department isn’t really enforcing the overnight camping ordinance when they’re supposed to. Second we’re a Welcome City which is somehow giving the homeless a message they’re welcome here and the SLO police are too easy on the homeless, that’s why San Luis Obispo has so much daily transient crimes on the SLO PD log, they’re letting them commit crimes and they’re not writing the up or arresting them but if you’re a rentor or homeowner, you’re gonna get fined or arrested for the same crimes the homeless commit. This is so true that the SLO police department is giving a free press to the homeless on crimes here and I been told this by the homeless, they say the SLO police are easy on them, it’s why they come here.

Sad, so sad. The SLO police chief needs to go.


Once a veteran always a veteran I say..

Any homeless veteran should be offered quarters at any military post / base.

They have housing at each and every one of them. It is called a “sunk” cost meaning we have already paid to build the housing- which offers a fix for the problem without spending more tax dollars.

Russ J

Wildrnes – based on your handle, you probably care about our environment. I wonder then, why you make lite of the homeless problem. They are releasing tons of trash and debris in our riverbeds. Most are drug addicted and they typically toss their needles onto the ground. Examples of this in the Santa Ana riverbed are well documented. I walked through the Santa Maria riverbed recently and saw truck loads of discarded homeless camp trash. All this trash will be washed out to sea and then I get to swim with it when I surf this winter; oh boy!


How ’bout a little real world perspective from someone who has been there and done that…

While there are those in the homeless community who choose to be there the majority don’t, while there are criminals in that community (just like the housed community) the majority are not, while there are addicts (and I won’t differentiate between drugs or alcohol addiction as they’re one and the same) the majority are not and while there are those with mental health issues the majority don’t. The majority are there because of situations out of their control; job layoffs, foreclosures, evictions, injuries, medical bills, etc. What all they suffer from though is the stigma and fear mongering that communities like SLO use to distance themselves from them that keep them in the situation they’re in.

It’s a bitch to hear someone yell at you from a passing car to “GET A JOB!” knowing that same person wouldn’t give you one even if they could. It’s a bitch to hear someone yell at you “GET OFF MY STREETS!” knowing if they could they wouldn’t rent to you. It’s a doubled downed bitch to know that those entrusted and financially supported by the community to offer services that are supposed assist the homeless that want off the streets are usually corrupt and anything but “non-profit”.

Using known shelter addresses and or phone numbers on an application is a sure way of not getting a job or housing. Having shelters that won’t accommodate homeless individuals that have gotten jobs with work hours that conflict with the shelters “normal business hours” (that means no swing or grave yard shifts) is a sure way of dissuading looking for work and or not keeping a job when hired (you try getting a meal, a shower and clean clothes while on the streets and working). The straw that usually breaks the backs of those homeless individuals who want off the streets is a housing market that is so far out of reach for them it’s impossible to find affordable housing even after they become employed.

The further along a person gets in his or her “homelessness” the more difficult it becomes to get out of it. Some people give up hope and quit, get a tent or live in their car, and let the world pass them by. I’ve know one-or-two who never used any drugs (including alcohol) but turned to them as a way of medicating themselves to numb the pain they feel from being homeless and the helplessness they felt by being rejected and stigmatized by their community.

To those who continually use the false claim of out of control crime these people bring to your community that is out of proportion as compared to the housed community? Stop it! It just isn’t true! Proportionally a homeless individual is far, far, far more likely to be the victim of a crime than a housed person, and those crimes are all too often perpetrated by housed individuals: “Two men who slept on downtown Los Angeles sidewalks were beaten to death with a bat last month. In Santa Monica, four other men were attacked while sleeping outside, allegedly by the same assailant, two fatally. In Mission Hills, in the north San Fernando Valley, two unhoused people were burned in an acid attack in the wee hours of Sept. 30 — and the couple said they had been previously doused with gasoline and bleach.” – Op-Ed: “We don’t need protection from the homeless. They need protection from us”, Los Angeles Times, Oct. 2018

The first step in resolving this dilemma is to stop stigmatizing the homeless population as a whole for what a minority from it do, identify those who want off the streets and are willing to do what takes to do so and give them every available option and accommodation to do so. And as much as you don’t like it recognize the fact that affordable housing is a key in not only getting these folks off the streets but keeping them off.


Always humbled by your posts knowing you have seen the other side, as have I, whom have been this population; but had a helping hand from saintly folk.


Homeless population is increasing nationwide. But the economy is doing so well says the Big Man. Houston, we have a tremendous, biggety problem. Wait, tarriffs and a wall will solve it. But first, let me call my boy Putin to loan some firefighters.


Winner winner chiky dinner.