Posted: Jul 31, 2012 11:03 PM by Hope Hanselman, KSBY News
Updated: Aug 1, 2012 8:05 AM
Community leaders in South San Luis Obispo County are asking for help in addressing the needs of the homeless population.
Tuesday night, the 5Cities Homeless Coalition hosted a forum. It's the last of three discussions held around the county. The previous two were held in Atascadero and San Luis Obispo. Tuesday night was South County's turn to figure out how the issue affects them.
Council members from the Five Cities area attended the meeting. Representatives say law enforcement is also part of the discussion, but it was community members who were asking the questions at the forum.
"We're trying to bring awareness and actually hear concerns from the public about what they would like to see done, or what their solutions are, or if they would like to get involved," Patti Diefenderfer, president of the coalition, said.
A panel of representatives from homeless programs around San Luis Obispo County opened the conversation up. The 5Cities Homeless Coalition unveiled their strategy.
"Specific to South County, unlike San Luis obispo, is we have some distance issues," Janna Nichols, Executive Director of the coalition, said.
The South County Community Services Center will be a sort of one-stop facility, bringing together the resources to address everything from getting a job to getting a hot shower.
"People think about homelessness, they tend to think of it as somewhat of a one-dimensional issue," Nichols said. "You may have a specific stereotype of a person in mind."
Workers with coalition say it's more complex than one question, or even one solution. But, they say starting the conversation is a step forward.
"We need to find solutions together and it's going to take a community do that," Nichols said.
The Homeless Services Oversight Council plans to hold more specific forums in the future.
If you missed the conversation, you can learn more by clicking here.
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