You give, we act, and families find homes and hope

EOYWhen we ask for your support, we show you where and how we put your gifts to work.

When you read that we are helping our local neighbors take the next step to get back on their feet, this is happening because of you.

  • In 2014, hundreds of our homeless neighbors received direct financial assistance for housing and immediate needs as well as referral services for substance abuse, domestic violence, medical and dental care and employment needs.
  • Working with the Families in Transition program, we are helping the more than 950 homeless children in the Lucia Mar Unified School District stay in school.

We need your support to continue to provide a helping hand to these students and their families.

  • So far in 2014, we have helped hundreds of families and children with in-kind donations valued at more than $100,000 – including food, household goods, clothing, shoes, dental and hygiene products, diapers, blankets, gift cards and more.
  • By the end of 2014, we’re hoping to match that amount in cash. Your friends and neighbors have already raised $75,000 to help families in crisis.

We need an additional $25,000 to underwrite the referral and support services our staff and volunteers provide every day to help families and children by connecting them with services, and helping them move from the streets into stable homes.

Please donate what you can, and know that your contribution helps 5Cities Homeless Coalition continue its life-changing efforts.

You give, we act, and families find homes and hope. That’s our formula for helping, one family at a time.

Your year-end contribution may provide you some tax savings, along with the certainty that you have helped your neighbors in need this holiday season.

Empty Bowl Community Luncheon 2014 Thank You!

$30,000 Raised!

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to make our 3rd Empty Bowls event a success. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year.  Save the date, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015!

More than 800 bowls of soup were served thanks to local artists, restaurants and community volunteers.

Thank you all for your caring support.

And here are some great shots, taken by Vivian Krug of Emotions Photography and Gifts.

Click here to view the complete photo album.

We’d like to extend our thanks to the following for their generous sponsorship of the event:

Union Bank, Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, Nipomo Community Presbyterian Church, Pacific Gas and Electric, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Coasthills Federal Credit Union, County Board of Supervisors, MidAmerican Solar, Coastal Community Builders, Martin Resorts, Altrusa Intl. Cinco Ciudades, Kiwanis Club of Arroyo Grande, Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery, Stifel – The Cohl Hosick Group, Pacific Eye, SLOCO Data, Brad’s Restaurant, Bernard and Lynette Horton, Anita Shower and Robert Robert,  and Keller Williams.

Additional sponsors include Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic Sure Mortgage Solutions South County Youth Coalition Five Cities CPA’s Bill Senna’s Insurance Services Temple of the People Rudolph & Anne Bachmann Lenny Jones Real Estate Broker Allan Real Estate Investments Jeff Johnson.

Raffle donors include Talley Farms & Talley Vineyards, Bob Nichols, Rose Bartlett, Pacifica Hotel Company, Tolosa Winery & Vineyards, Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant, Wednesday Bible Study, Discovery Dining, Sierra Body Shop, Rutiz Farms, Pismodise, Rancho Nipomo BBQ, Rich Lasiewski – Canyon Art, Polly Fitzgerald, Kathy & David Deniz, SLO Veg, Bonnie Werring -Playing with Fire, Couples’ Bible Study, Kathy Wright, Lynn Kaloian, CCF Investments Inc., Verena’s Go Gourmet, Robert Anderson, DDS, Rudy & Anne Bachmann – SLO Gardens, Lanie Kozie, Anne R. Allen, Shell Beach Floral Design, David Congalton & Charlotte Alexander, Gretchen Anderson.

We would also like to recognize the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation for their belief in our cause and long-standing support to make our vision a reality.

We would especially like to recognize these restaurants, artists and volunteers for their support in making this event possible.


  • Alphy’s Adobe Grill
  • CJ’s Café
  • Coco’s Restaurant
  • DePalo & Sons
  • F. McLintocks
  • Fins Seafood Restaurant
  • Honeymoon Café
  • Huckleberry’s
  • Jaffa Café
  • Lido Restaurant
  • Oceano Elks Chef Laura Madsen
  • Old Juan’s Cantina
  • Penny’s All American Café
  • Rosa’s Ristorante Italiano
  • Rooster Creek Tavern
  • Splash Café
  • Spyglass Inn
  • The Girl’s Restaurant
  • Chef Michael Stuart
  • House of Bread


  • Bob Nichols
  • Ben Trogdon
  • Dan Hall
  • Darcy Badiali
  • Gary Gall
  • Guyla Amyx
  • Mark Ellery
  • Mark Sensenbach
  • Paula Schaffner
  • Paula Teplitz
  • Richard Rowe
  • Shevon Sullivan
  • Alice Sennett
  • Charles Varni
  • Allan Hancock College Ceramics Students
  • Altrusa International of Cinco Ciudades
  • Anam-Cre’ Studio, Shevon Sullivan
  • Ben Doty & Arroyo Grande High School Ceramic Students
  • Annie Cappelli for her support firing the student bowls from Altrusa International

Planning Committee:

  • Anita James
  • Diane Cotter
  • Debbie Dorney
  • Betsy Ehrler
  • Gretchen Anderson
  • Shelly Higginbotham
  • Liz Howland

Program Update

homeless web

The 5Cities Homeless Coalition continues to develop and coordinate programs in the South County, with the assistance of many community partners. The clients served by the Coalition in the first quarter of 2014 ranged in age from pre-birth to 70+, and faced a plethora of challenges. For many it was the consistent on-going contact they received through the […]

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Coalition Supports Safe Parking


The 5Cities Homeless Coalition is partnering with Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in a pilot program to provide safe overnight parking for those homeless who must sleep in their vehicles.  Based on a successful program in Santa Barbara County, the new program is the first in San Luis Obispo County. Recently approved unanimously by the Planning […]

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From The President

While it is a common belief that many people who end up homeless do so because of their lack of interest in keeping a steady job, the truth is that many homeless people were actually working at the time they lost their homes. This may have happened because their work hours were reduced, they became […]

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Valentine’s Concert and Chocolate Buffet Great Success

Valentine Concert Fundraiser with Rick Jarrett

We’d like to extend our thanks to our friends at Nipomo Community Presbyterian Church, and the many businesses and community members who donated items and attended our event, held on February 12th.  Thanks to the effort and support of many community members, the event raised over $7,000! A special thank goes out to Rick Jarrett […]

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Area Coalition Forms to Help Homeless

By April Charlton/Senior Staff/Times Press Recorder a division of Lee Central Coast Newspapers When 36-year-old William Diaz was homeless, he didn’t ponder his future. Instead, his days were consumed with finding a place to sleep, warmth and his next meal. “The whole time I kept thinking that I didn’t have a chance,” said Diaz, who […]

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Homeless No More

Homeless no more: Long road leads man to assistance, home By April Charlton/Senior Staff Writer/Times Press Recorder a division of Lee Central Coast Newspapers During one Nipomo native’s struggle with homelessness, he did everything he could to sleep standing up. “I felt a lot of shame,” William Diaz said about the period of his life […]

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More Than 30 Percent of Homeless in SLO County Are Children

Study reveals more than 30 percent of homeless in county are children By Times Press Recorder Staff a division of Lee Central Coast Newspapers A single count of homeless persons in San Luis Obispo County has revealed that on any given day, there are more than 3,800 people without a place to call home. Even […]

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