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.


Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment

A “connection to the area” is defined as “they know somebody”. It’s such a useless and misleading statistic. Why not publish the crime statistics for which they are responsible?


Why not publish mental health statistics or upbringing or genealogy to she’d some empathy on people living in squalor. Not everyone here has taken college courses in Sociology, Psych; as in you.

coronet blue

No surprise. SLO has become a destination city, and homelessness has become a legitimate lifestyle choice and our city is supporting it. I’d come here too. All the free stuff mentioned already, a shiny new center to facilitate that lifestyle, free cell phones, get to steal bikes, shopping carts and anything else they can get their hands on with impunity. Sleep, pee and camp anywhere you like, start fires, police do nothing. I worked like hell to live here and these creeps just flop where they want. Pisses me off.


Quit your job, and then become homeless. You’ll be happy and you won’t be pissed off anymore! See how simple that is! Then tell everybody about how wonderful it is! Keep us posted!


To borrow for an old Kevin Costner movie – “If you build it they will come” If this county continues to make it very easy for the homeless to come and get all kinds of services – do you really believe many will say “No thanks” and decide to go elsewhere? Maybe we should be spending some money on letting the homeless know how wonderful Pierre, ND, or Green Bay, Wisconsin, or many other places far from here are? Many such places may offer snow parkas (not yet done here – stay tuned).



The word on the streets to the homeless is to come to SLO, where you’ll get fed, bathed and sheltered without too much trouble. Helping the homeless helps to assuage the liberal guilt, so we have bocome a haven for the homeless-by-choice, jobless and those pursuing living life without the pressures of rent and debt.

Move over residents, more are on the way, and you can thank Heidi Harmon and her progressive ilk for this condition. Like their other ‘solutions’, this one won’t work either.

Abandon Democrats in 2020.


I guess you have never seen the 5 star accommodations for the mentally ill around here? Let’s ask Andrew Holland, oh wait, nm.


If I were homeless I’d come here, too! Free showers, free laundry services, free food, even wi-fi at the Prado Day Center; free groceries at Grace Church every Saturday and at Cuesta College once a month; camp out anywhere without any problems from the police, and the weather is OK for that, too. Why not come here?


Nice, cheap sarcasm, womanwhohasnotbeenhere. Thanks for taking cheapshots at organizations that actually help people out. So much anger and lack of humanity




Do you mean organizations like CAPSLO where staff stole gift cards meant for the homeless? Or the group in Grover Beach that tried to steal a church there?


Been where? Evidently not the “where” we’re speaking of! ’cause if you had? You’d be much less condescending and much more understanding…

Just sayin’….


Hang out a hummingbird feeder full of syrupy goodness and they’ll eventually find it. Keep it clean and full of fresh food and more will come. Before you know it you’re filling the feeder every day, only weeks prior you’d never even noticed a hummingbird in your yard.

CA has chosen to put out the welcome mat. Free food, free showers, free haircuts, use libraries for free internet, homeless shelters where well meaning and generous people donate new socks, and backpacks filled with toiletries etc.

Would I want to be homeless? Hell no. But many choose the lifestyle, and the argument can easily be made we’re enabling much of this. Just as hummingbirds communicate the whereabouts of feeders, the homeless also have their own ways of letting each other know where the gettin’ is good.


The homeless community is such a drain on the U.S. Taxpayer, costing each of them, the taxpayer, about $3.00 a week . Ouch!

I understand how much of a hardship that is on you folks out in SLO, probably causes you to miss a day at Starbucks and your Café Latte Tall, or a couple of lottery tickets or maybe just one less gallon of gas.

Here, let me give you the bright side though; it ain’t much to pay for to have someone to hate on, be scared of and just plane bitch, bitch, bitch about to your hearts content, right?

Here’s some good news for all of you that can’t get enough of hatin’ on folks you neither understand or could give one chit about, Trump The Pervert is cuttin’ funding for housing, about $6 billion! That’ll just give you more to hate on! Great, huh?

Bitch, bitch, bitch…

(All of you that don’t pay taxes, the one’s who get everything back at the end of the year? Shut up, you don’t pay chit because of these human beings!)


A quick internet search of the cost of homelessness looking for your $3.00 per week figure turned up nothing. But this and many other similar things did.

“Homelessness and lack of shelter for the homeless population can also affect the surrounding communities financially and physically…. For example, according to the administrative officer for the city of Los Angeles in a 2015 report, although only four agencies and departments had budgetary allocations for homeless programs, at least 15 regularly engaged with homeless people, with some departments incurring large costs. For example, the report cited that the Los Angeles Police Department estimated it spent from $53.6 million to $87.3 million in one year on interactions with homeless people and the Bureau of Sanitation spent at least $547,000 in a year on cleanup of homeless encampments.”


553,000 (homeless in this country in 2018) times $40,000 a year (average tax dollars spent on each homeless person in 2018 [and I took the highest figure given]) divided by 141,000,000 (the number of people who paid taxes in 2018) divided by 365 (days of the year) times 7 (the days in a week) = $3.00

That dollar amount is probably too high as the 553,000 is an approximate figure as not every homeless individual in this country is counted due to many factors.

Next time, before you question my figures, do some diggin’ on your own…


“But this and many other similar things did.”

List them, all of them!


You can’t make an argument to someone whom doesn’t have data to back up their feelings of ignorance, even though we try, sorry Americathefree, I try too along side you.


So let me get this right….you don’t want to be homeless. And

yet you claim that being homeless is a cushy lifestyle? And they choose their lifestyle? Obviously you have never been homeless. So you have no idea of what you’re talking about. And since you have a job, health, and a place to live…..what the hell are you bitching about?


Your homeless intel is entertaining. Hummingbird communication? Cute


Record high stock market…..

record high real estate prices

record low unemployment……

and record high homelessness?

Something isn’t adding up. Since I’ve seen the homeless, the stock market and the real estate prices with my own eyes…..I suspect that the unemployment numbers are false or rely on stupidly inaccurate methodology and that the unemployment rate is far higher than is reported.

Also, this sort of thing isn’t supposed to happen in a “woke” town, governed by compassionate liberals under the aegis of the most progressive state government in the nation. WTF?


Well stated. Im form the government and Im here to help. So hows that working out for slo co? Then you have the misguided like Wildnes who blame it on Trump. You simply cant force a person to do what they dont want or are unwilling to do.I have family member who has proven that for almost 50 years now.


Record low unemployment is because all the full time jobs are now three part time jobs with no benefits. I know that since the Obama health insurance kicked in, employers with over a certain amount of employees had to pay for their health insurance. So what’s a smart business owner do? Get rid of the full time employees and hire part time employees and not have to provide health insurance. Even some cities, government agency’s, have done this! Talk about hypocrisy. Maybe CalCoast should check into this. I bet the cities will lie.

Mitch C

No political body is addressing issues just symptoms. The SLO Board wants a tax to create “affordable housing; this will not address the homeless problem. Addiction and alcoholism are the main reason for homelessness, these are the issues that need to be addressed.

Some running for office want to forgive student loans. Again this is not a solution. The student loan situation has offered higher learning institutions the ability to raise tuition many fold above inflation. By taking advantage of the student loan scam universities have hired seven figure administrators, created billions in endorsements and lived high. Forgiveness for the loan will only add to the problem not solve it, if allowed to continue universities will raise tuition to a million dollars a semester and the student will just get a loan for the million dollars and expect the debt to be forgiven. Problem not solved, just exasperated.

Mitch C

My suggestion for a student loan fix: make the universities responsible for the loan rather than the government. Grant loans based upon expected beginning salary at graduation: an engineer with a starting salary of $80,000 per year could apply for a loan based upon that expected salary, an accounting major with an expected starting salary of $60,000 could apply for a loan based upon that expected starting salary, a lesbian line dance major who would have no expectation of gainful employment at graduation would not be eligible for a student loan. Loans would be for tuition and books only (no need to tun up debt to fund a new car, telecom expenses, or an every Friday pizza party with friends). First year students would not be eligible for loans and would have to have at least a 2.75 GPA to apply in subsequent years (would give some proof that the student would complete their course of study). Loans would only be available to students for the anticipated length of their studies (a four year program would offer loans for second, third and fourth year (permanent student entering into their eight year of a four year program would no longer be eligible for student loans after their fourth year). Loan repayment amounts and schedule should be know at the time of application such as with a car loan or mortgage.


What the hell does student loans have to do with this article? Right an opinion piece and have CCN publish it… Student loans, sheesh!!!


Mitch…what about people who are physically and/or mentally disabled and cannot work and are not drug/alcohol addicts? Where are you supposed to live on $900.00 per month if you finally get disability (SSI)? What about people who work full time and still can’t afford housing? Are you aware that there is a huge gap between current wages and the cost of housing?


SSI recipients only get $771 a month this year, not $900. I know that sounds like nit-picking but knowing it’s virtually impossible to get housing at $900 a month what is it like at just $771?

“Are you aware that there is a huge gap between current wages and the cost of housing?” Sure they are, and some would have it no other way! They’d rather bus the “serfs” in than give them housing…


I understand that Santa Barbara is still buying bus tickets for their homeless who want to come to SLO.


That explains how you got here. Welcome! Happy that you are here, my fellow human being!


I understand that the Republican Party is now

buying tickets to send conservatives back to Russia. Comrade Trumpski and Moscow Mitch don’t care for these “homelesski people”. Of course I’m just Putin my 2 cents worth.