The City of Grover Beach continues to take meaningful action to address homelessness in our community in partnership with other agencies. The construction of the temporary emergency housing on County property at 16th Street and Long Branch Avenue in Grover Beach is complete and the facility opened during the last week of 2022.
This project, known as Cabins for Change, is the first of its kind in South County and will provide shelter space and other important services for individuals experiencing homelessness. The City of Grover Beach, County of San Luis Obispo (SLO) and 5Cities Homeless Coalition (5CHC) partnered on this innovative facility which will be operated by 5CHC. 5CHC has moved nine clients into the facility so far and are onboarding those individuals into their comprehensive system of care.
In August, the County of SLO Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the five-year Countywide Plan to Address Homelessness, which aims to reduce homelessness across the County by 50 percent. The County has identified six lines of effort to house roughly 2,000 people in five years, including creating affordable and appropriately designed housing and shelter options.
“Local governments and nonprofit agencies like 5CHC are making a coordinated effort to address homelessness in SLO County, and the City is proud to assist in creating the first shelter space in South County,” said Grover Beach Mayor Karen Bright. “We are grateful that this partnership has allowed us to take this significant step towards addressing homelessness in our community.”
As Ken Dalebout, Board Chair for 5Cities Homeless Coalition, explained at the cabin's lighting ceremony on opening night, "It is a testament to our community that this project has come to fruition. This is real, and truly something our community can be proud of. This is the first shelter in South County and through this program, we will be able to help change lives."
The temporary emergency shelter utilizes a non-congregate housing model, allowing individuals to be housed in independent cabins rather than a communal space. This approach provides a more stable living environment and reduces individuals’ exposure to airborne heath challenges. 5CHC is managing the 20 cabins at the facility and provides 24/7 support, case management and connections to food services, recovery and housing stabilization guidance. The individual cabins have beds, heat and electricity. Shared dining, bathroom and shower facilities are provided in a separate unit.
The facility operates 24 hours a day and provides individual adults with a private, safe room to stay in while they utilize the provided resources to take their next steps toward sustainable housing. Residents can work directly with case managers to increase their employment and find a place to live permanently. The SLO County Public Health Clinic and Drug and Alcohol Services are located just hundreds of feet away for those that need their services. This comprehensive system of care is intended to help each individual reach long-term housing stability.
The Cabins for Change program is funded by the CARES Act allocation the County received from the federal government. In addition to this $1.2 million, the County of SLO will also apportion funds received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) toward the construction and operation of this temporary emergency shelter. Members of the public who are interested in donating their time, money, talents or supplies to support the new homeless shelter can do so on the 5CHC website or by emailing [email protected]. “It has been incredibly rewarding to see this project grow from an idea to an operational facility in Grover Beach that can be replicated elsewhere,” commented Grover Beach City Manager Matthew Bronson. “We are incredibly grateful for 5CHC’s dedication to creating shelter space that will help individuals experiencing homelessness in our region.”