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First homeless housing facility in south SLO County about to open up

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Posted at 9:18 PM, Dec 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-15 02:37:08-05

The first homeless housing facility in south San Luis Obispo County is about to open up.

The 5Cities Homeless Coalition is putting the finishing touches on 20 tiny cabins as well as a gathering space for residents. It’s part of a new approach to housing the unhoused that is coming to Grover Beach.

“We are feeling like it’s Christmas. To have these cabins completed and ready for folks to move in is a big deal for us,” said SLO County District 3 Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg.

The tiny cabins are located at the corner of 16th Street and Longbranch Avenue.

They come with two beds, some shelf space as well as heating and air conditioning.

“This represents change in our community. This is the first time that we’ve had any kind of project like this in the South County,” said Peggy Coon who is a board member of the 5Cities Homeless Coalition.

Each cabin will house either one adult or a couple.

The goal is to provide stability to help the homeless get back into permanent housing within about six months.

“They’re not having to wonder where their stuff is or whether it’s gonna get stolen or where they’re gonna sleep. We can give them a stable place to be, and that allows them to change their focus,” said 5Cities Homeless Coalition Executive Director Janna Nichols.

“We named the project “Cabins for Change” because most of the people who come here will want to make a change in their life,” adds Coon.

The facility has amenities on-site that include five showers and six toilets.

There is also the so-called beach house-- a central gathering point where the 40 Prado Shelter will serve meals on a daily basis.

“We wanted to create a very uplifting space and the community’s come together to help us do that,” said Nichols.

The 5Cities Homeless Coalition will have staff on-site 24/7.

The facility is under the watch of security cameras and residents are asked to abide by a 9 p.m. curfew.

The county, meanwhile, hopes this is the first of many tiny cabin projects to come.

“It’s very important for us at the county because this is one of what we hope to be another handful of other villages that we put up,” said Supervisor Ortiz-Legg.

If all goes to plan, move-in day will be on December 23rd--just in time for Christmas.

According to the 5Cities Homeless Coalition, San Luis Obispo County has the third largest percentage of unsheltered homeless in the nation. Unsheltered homelessness in SLO County has grown by 22 percent in just five years.