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People living out of campers near Ocean and 17th Street still have not moved

Posted at 11:17 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 10:58:19-04

Last month, people living out of campers near Ocean and 17th Street in Oceano were told by CHP that they needed to leave and were given 72-hour notices.

They were encouraged to relocate to a safe parking lot on Kansas Avenue near San Luis Obispo, but as we near the end of September, campers still line the street and neighbors are growing increasingly upset.

Across from the Central Coast House of Worship on Ocean and 17th Streets is a community of people living out of campers.

"I love all these people out here. They all have their stories," said Jorji Coyepperly, a person residing on Ocean and 17th Street.

Jorji Coyepperly is living in one of those campers and she says when she fell on hard times she found the Central Coast Worship Center. She says the church helped her while she was experiencing domestic abuse, struggles with sobriety, health issues and having her children taken away by the state.

"It is frustrating. Only because I don't have a whole lot of support. I do but I don't," said Coyepperly.

Coyepperly has been sober for 2 months and is dedicated to staying clean in hopes of being reunited with her children and securing stable housing.

"I don't want to tease my girls. I told them please don't come knock on my door," said Coyepperly.

Don Yarbro is living in his motor home on Ocean and 17th because he is struggling with health issues and is close to the resources he needs. He is friends with the pastor at the church across the street who provides meals and helps others maintain sobriety. He feels if he moves to the Kansas Avenue lot he will not have access to the healthcare he needs and will be far from the church and its many resources.

"Community health is a block and a half down the street. Ain't the best but I can guarantee it's better than dying," Yarbro said.

Neighbor James Santa Cruz says he feels for the people living in the campers near his house but says it is affecting the community. He says the campers are trying to respect the people in the nearby neighborhoods and says they haven't caused any disturbances other than occasionally placing items like bedspreads outside of the campers.

"This looks bad for the community, but at the same time, these folks are in a tough position. I feel for them," Santa Cruz said.

Other neighbors are growing impatient.

"We just feel ignored by the county that they've allowed this to happen in our neighborhood and haven't done anything to either help us or help them to clean it up," said neighbor Richard Garcia.

Garcia says he is frustrated by trash and human waste left in the area. He says he has visitors to his nearby home who feel unsafe because of what's going on in the area.

"8 months is enough. I understand COVID delay but we are fed up," said Garcia.

Coyepperly knows it is time to go and is ready and willing to move to the lot on Kansas Avenue but says she needs assistance getting there. Three days ago officers offered to tow her camper to the lot on Kansas Avenue for free. She agreed and says she is ready to go, but they have not yet towed the vehicle.

"It's definitely time for a change. I want to have somewhere clean and healthy where my girls the other ones come of age they can visit and have somewhere to call home," said Coyepperly.

People living in the campers say the state is working with them to arrange to move them to the lot on Kansas Avenue if they are willing to go.