Praise for home­less project is off base

The Tribune (SLO) - - Opinion -

In her April 14 let­ter prais­ing the Home­less Ser­vices Over­sight Coun­cil’s (HSOC) rec­om­men­da­tion to al­lo­cate state money to the home­less, Susan Hughes be­gins with a fac­tual er­ror, and fails to in­clude a ma­jor prob­lem in­cluded in that de­ci­sion.

First, the HSOC did not “vote yes to in­crease ser­vices for our home­less pop­u­la­tion...” It sim­ply made a rec­om­men­da­tion to the Board of Su­per­vi­sors as to which of the 18 ap­pli­cants seek­ing avail­able state fund­ing should be awarded money.

Se­cond and most im­por­tant, she fails to men­tion that the Five Cities Home­less Coali­tion/Peo­ple’s Self Help Hous­ing project in­cluded in their rec­om­men­da­tion would be lo­cated in a church sur­rounded by a neigh­bor­hood of sin­gle-fam­ily homes in Grover Beach and Ar­royo Grande. This lo­ca­tion would re­quire re­zon­ing from sin­gle fam­ily res­i­den­tial to Neigh­bor­hood Com­mer­cial, vi­o­lates Grover Beach’s gen­eral plan and has been met with im­me­di­ate and re­sound­ing op­po­si­tion by neigh­bors near and far.

When the Board of Su­per­vi­sors votes on April 23, they should look to the Paso Robles/ECHO project in the North County as a model for proper lo­ca­tion, rec­og­nize that its South County coun­ter­part is the polar op­po­site, and re­quire that the ap­pli­cants find an ap­pro­pri­ate lo­ca­tion be­fore re­ceiv­ing any fund­ing.

– Kevin Watkins, Ar­royo Grande

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