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City of San Luis Obispo facing lawsuit for 'unconstitutional treatment of the homeless during the pandemic'

Posted at 6:50 PM, Sep 20, 2021

The City of San Luis Obispo is facing a lawsuit alleging unconstitutional treatment of the homeless during the pandemic.

The lawsuit was filed by non-profit law firm California Legal Rural Assistance which represents homeless individuals and Hopes Village of SLO, which provides services to homeless individuals within San Luis Obispo County.

The lawsuit alleges that the City of San Luis Obispo unlawfully broke up homeless encampments during the pandemic and illegally seized and destroyed homeless individual's property, ultimately violating their rights.

The lawsuit says that San Luis Obispo's only homeless shelter, 40 Prado, is only capable of assisting a fraction of the city's homeless population and that it is not accessible to many individuals with PTSD or other disabilities.

KSBY reached out to the Public Communications Manager for the City of San Luis Obispo for comment and the spokesperson said,

"This lawsuit is discouraging on many levels, especially as the city is doing more than ever before to increase housing here and provide public services to unhoused and unsheltered community members. We are confident in and will continue our years of hard work to proactively address homelessness in San Luis Obispo. We remain committed to balancing compassion for our most vulnerable community members with accountability to ensure that individuals and groups are obeying the law. There are many sides to every story, and we will defend our community in court. At this time, we ask the community to refrain from passing judgment until all facts are fully vetted through the legal process."
Whitney Szentesi, Public Communications Manager: City of San Luis Obispo