Collaboration to End Homelessness
The 5Cities Homeless Coalition is working to strengthen the south San Luis Obispo County community by mobilizing resources, support, and hope for the homeless and those facing poverty.
Ending homelessness involves making sure people are healthy, well-nourished, and adequately prepared to find jobs; and that they have adequate housing available. The Coalition is working with service providing organizations, the faith community, service groups and community leaders to assess current services, and opportunities for collaboration to provide for immediate needs (not currently being met) that lead toward self-sufficiency.
Currently a loose network of service providers exists in the South County. Communicating and coordinating services through this network requires time and energy, but a role the Coalition is actively working to fill. The backbone of the 5Cities Homeless Coalition is our strength in channeling community resources, volunteers, and donor assets to meet the needs of the homeless population through existing and new programs.
In collaboration with our community partners, the vision of the 5Cities Homeless Coalition is to build a Community Services Center in south San Luis Obispo County that will offer a full range of resources to empower low income and homeless families, children and individuals to build self-esteem through acquiring the education, job training, food and medical services they need to become self-sufficient and productive community members.
The Challenge: the New Face of Homelessness…
There are 3,774 people in San Luis Obispo County without permanent housing—49% are children! The number of local homeless children has more than doubled in the past four years. Over 50% of the county’s 1,847 homeless children are 10 years old or younger. James, Tiffany and 3-year old Leandra are the new face of homelessness. Job loss, foreclosure and bankruptcy a year ago have left this small family without a home. The number of families becoming homeless has dramatically increased in recent years, in large part due to the economic crisis.
A Collaborative Solution…
The Coalition is bringing together strong community partners in the South County to collaborate on this important Community Services Center project, and programs to address gaps in the current network of services.
- San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation as stewards of the Klaproad Family bequest
- The 5Cities Homeless Coalition is working with partner organizations to establish job training/education programs in commercial kitchen food handling and culinary arts, warehouse operations, nonprofit leadership, office operations, and truck driving
- Cuesta College is working with the 5Cities Homeless Coalition to offer career/vocational training, teach job search and life skill classes, offer core curriculum classes, and Nursing School student intern programs
- SAFE (Services Affirming Family Empowerment) bilingual, bicultural family advocates will provide parenting education, translation services, connection with community resources, and case management
- Community Health Centers will provide primary and ancillary health care services
- Mental health, substance abuse, and psychiatric counseling will be available.
- Healthy Living classes, plus school and community immunizations will also be offered.
- Veterans’ benefits assistance will be offered as almost 1 in 5 of the homeless in our county is a Veteran.
- Housing assistance for both interim and permanent housing solutions will be available.
- Altrusa International will offer literacy programs, a magazine and bookmobile, and after school tutoring programs
- South County People’s Kitchen will provide nutritious noon-time meals served by volunteers from 19 South County churches, the Santa Maria Rescue Mission and Arroyo Grande Hospital 365 days a year
- High school and college students will offer mentoring/tutoring programs
- We Hope You will commit to join us in our efforts. Please contact us for more information on how to become involved.