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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on November 1st, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 34 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 34

5Cities Homeless Coalition presents plans for a day shelter in Oceano

BY AMY ASMAN

Members of the 5Cities Homeless Coalition were expected to discuss the potential construction of a homeless day shelter on Nipomo Street in Oceano at the Oct. 30 meeting of the Oceano Advisory Council.

According to a press release, the coalition is proposing a 20,000-square-foot center, to be funded in part by a $1.5 million Klaparoad endowment. The group hopes to raise at least another $5 million for the project. The coalition has been working on shelter plans since 2007.

Janna Nichols, executive director of 5Cities Homeless Coalition, said her organization has developed a schematic drawing of its “dream center.” It shows space for medical services, a kitchen, day lockers, showers, a washer and dryer room, a children’s area, a health clinic, and more. No facilities are shown for overnight stays.

Coalition members conducted a survey of homeless south San Luis Obispo County residents several years ago, which indicated a need to locate available services in one area.

“It’s not that they don’t want an overnight shelter or help with housing. There are so many services in the South County that the immediate need is to co-locate all of the services,” Nichols said.

Coalition leaders looked at more than 100 potential properties in the Five Cities area before opening escrow on a small parcel of land in Oceano, she continued. She said that the property is too small to support all of the planned amenities.

“So we’ll have to either change our plans or find adjacent property,” she said.

The Oceano Advisory Council wasn’t expected to make a decision regarding the shelter. Rather, the meeting was intended to inform the public about the coalition’s plans and to answer any questions people might have about the project.

For more information about the proposed shelter, visit 5chc.org.