San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer was in San Luis Obispo on Thursday to talk about the homeless issue in the state and in the county.
He spoke with the Central Coast Water Board about cleaning up homeless camps and the strategies he used in San Diego that could work in San Luis Obispo.
“Really what I've tried to do in San Diego is set that tone of you just can’t do things the way they use to be done 10 and 15 years ago,” he said. “It's about action, it's about planning for the future but getting results now.”
Some things he said the county can do now is get the homeless out of riverbeds, canyons and sidewalks and into shelters and permanent supporting housing.
While the homeless issue has skyrocketed in cities throughout the state, San Diego has seen a decline of roughly 9 percent since Mayor Faulconer was elected.
According to the water board, homelessness is on the rise on the Central Coast, which is impacting public safety and the water quality in the county.
Several district leaders talked about what needs to happen for the homeless issue to improve in the state and in the county.
“We need to see more housing built, it’s not going to happen unless we have dedicated funding and partnerships throughout our community to do so,” said Adam Hill, District 3 San Luis Obispo County Supervisor. “I’m glad about where we are headed but we have so much more work to do.”
Hill also addressed some of the improvement already being made with state funds. Some of those improvements include new affordable housing in Pismo Beach. A new space for case management and supportive services for the Five Cities Homeless Coalition in Grover Beach, and funds for the ECHO Homeless Shelter.