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Atascadero considers options for new warming center

Posted at 10:06 PM, Nov 27, 2018

Atascadero is looking for a new place to open a warming center for the homeless.

The City Council met Tuesday to talk about potential options. One idea on the table was to use the Armory as a temporary location, but the council rejected that proposal.

Council members said they wanted to address the issue, but felt they didn’t have enough time to consider the proposal or have enough public input.

“Obviously there is a tremendous need and hopefully our city can come together and figure out a solution,” said Wendy Lewis from ECHO, El Camino Homeless Organization.

The Transitional Food and Shelter Program had said the Armory would be a good option, but some community members voiced concern that it’s too close to schools.

TSF had said one option would be to bus people to and from the shelter in order to avoid contact with children.

The City Council also voted Tuesday to declare a homeless shelter crisis in Atascadero, which would make funding available to the city to help address the issue of homelessness. Several other cities on the Central Coast have already declared this type of crisis.

The current warming center at St. Williams Church will close after January 21.

The City Council will meet again on December 11 to further discuss the plans.