5Cities Homeless Coalition is transforming the lives of those who are homeless or facing homelessness in Southern San Luis Obispo County. Our efforts focus on helping the most vulnerable in our community maintain dignity while working toward a new home (or retaining their home). Our work goes beyond the immediate, to ensure that clients have the plan, skill sets, and support needed to be successful and self-sufficient. We are proud to share that more than 90% of those we have helped to house (or prevented from eviction) remain housed more than one-year later.
5CHC Program Reports
5Cities Homeless Coalition provides wrap-around services including case management and direct financial assistance – with a special emphasis on our housing support program. 5CHC’s housing support program serves clients throughout San Luis Obispo County who are either homeless or facing homelessness. Intensive case management, including financial literacy coaching, is coupled with direct financial assistance. Direct financial support is provided through a progressive engagement model based on the individual need. As clients work their agreed upon plan, funds are then made available to further their goals for self-sufficiency and housing. During this time we work to ensure on-going income sufficient to maintain housing.
Information and Referral – Coordinated Entry
Assistance begins with general information and referral to community services coupled with a comprehensive assessment of needs, identification of barriers and development of an immediate action plan. Those visiting 5CHC’s offices are provided access to computer, internet, phone charging, mailing address, food and hygiene supplies. 5CHC staff serves as a source of knowledge and referral.
The Coalition’s Housing Assistance program serves those who are currently homeless or at risk of losing housing, with a special emphasis on those living in South County. Case management and financial assistance is offered for rent, deposit and immediate needs based on differing criteria of a variety of funding grants. For move-in assistance with deposit and rent, clients must be homeless but there is no income threshold. For rental assistance to prevent homelessness, clients’ income is a factor in determining eligibility sources.
The SSVF program serves veterans who are currently homeless or at risk of losing housing. The program provides temporary assistance and services to help homeless veterans and their families gain housing stability. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Supportive Services for Veterans Families Program, provides funding for this program. This is a joint program of Good Samaritan Shelter and 5Cities Homeless Coalition.
Other Forms of Housing Assistance:
5CHC may be able to access other forms of housing support, such as Tenant-Based Rental Assistance and the Rental Deposit Loan Program in addition to these programs.
The purpose of this program is to assist homeless and low-income families and individuals in need in the Five Cities area with limited funds to address their immediate needs, and move them to self–sufficiency. Often helping families to overcome a one-time barrier enables them to move toward self-sufficiency, stability in the home, and economic improvement. Examples of assistance include support with utilities, gasoline, auto repairs, clothing, and employment readiness. These funds can be used to pay for bills, or for goods or services’; however no funds are given directly to the individual.
Homeless Youth Outreach:
5CHC’s homeless youth program matches a case manager with unaccompanied youth (aged 16-24) providing education, connection and services. One-on-one case management helps these youth with immediate needs, housing and development of an individualized Action Plan to help them independent living, steady employment, and continued education.
5CHC clients are offered additional guidance and advocacy for obtaining and retaining public benefits, including SSI, SSDI, Cal Fresh, etc. Clients are also encouraged to participate in financial literacy and budgeting training.
Working to improve discharge planning and case management with Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, the program serves homeless patients requiring temporary respite care. Program is offered in partnership with Dignity Health, Good Samaritan Shelter, Community Action Partnership San Luis Obispo, and Community Health Centers of the Central Coast.
For those seeking assistance with drug and alcohol addiction, 5CHC supports client participation in programs with the San Luis Obispo County Drug and Alcohol, and Recovery Point, a social-model detox program located on the campus with Good Samaritan Shelter in Santa Maria. Recovery Point Acute Care is a 12-bed inpatient drug and alcohol detox program that provides 7-14 day acute detoxification. The program provides a safe and protected residential environment for clients suffering from withdrawal symptoms who are unable to build a clean and sober foundation on their own.
5Cities Homeless Coalition operates an overnight warming center to provide a safe, warm and dry place for homeless adults to find shelter for the night during the winter on nights with predictions of temperatures at or below 40°F, or especially stormy weather (with rain forecast at 50% or greater). The seasonal warming center is offered between Nov. 1 and April 30, weather and funding dependent. A location for 2019-20 has not yet been identified.
Volunteers are needed to monitor the center overnight during operating hours, which are 4pm-8am. Clients arrive by 5pm and leave by 7am. Volunteers are also needed to launder linens and provide meals to guests. Volunteers will be able to sign up for 4 hour shifts. The volunteer position is on-call, as the warming center is only open on nights when it is forecast to be below 40 degrees or there is a 50% chance of rain or higher.
For more information please contact the Volunteer Coordinator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 805-295-1501.
The Coalition receives support from many community groups with such things as hygiene kits, feminine products, food and snack sacks. These items are then distributed with the help of our many community partners to those in need throughout the community. Due to limited space we are unable to donations of clothing; except for new socks, underwear or sweat pants. We however work closely with St. Barnabas Thrift Shop, which allows us to refer our our clients to shop for free. We encourage you to make your clothing donation through them.