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Contribute your feedback and ideas to the City's first Strategic Plan to Prevent and Address Homelessness

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181 registered responses


Where is your place of residence?

Response Percent Response Count
SLO City 65.2% 118
SLO County 33.1% 60
Outside SLO County 1.7% 3

Where is your place of employment?

Response Percent Response Count
SLO City 59.1% 107
SLO County 13.3% 24
Outside SLO County 5.0% 9
Not currently employed 22.7% 41

Have you ever experienced homelessness?

Response Percent Response Count
Yes 16.0% 29
No 84.0% 152

Do you know a friend or family member who has experienced homelessness?

Response Percent Response Count
Yes 52.5% 95
No 47.5% 86

How often do you observe people experiencing homelessness in SLO City?

Response Percent Response Count
Frequently/Daily 84.5% 153
Often/Weekly 14.9% 27
Occasionally/Monthly 0.6% 1

Do you currently volunteer with local organizations or groups that assist those experiencing homelessness? (ex: 40 Prado Homeless Services Center, SLO Food Bank, Shower the People, etc.)

Response Percent Response Count
Yes. I am a current volunteer. 20.8% 37
Not yet, but I am interested! 35.4% 63
No. I'm not interested. 43.8% 78

What would increase your likelihood of volunteering with organizations that assist the homeless population? *Hold Ctrl and click to highlight your answer(s).*

Response Percent Response Count
Online sign up 31.6% 43
Weekend hours 25.7% 35
Variety of tasks 48.5% 66
Other 38.2% 52

Please rank the following issues in order of urgency as related to homelessness in the City of San Luis Obispo:

Average priorities over 181 responses
  1. sanitation/hygiene, mental health decline, addictions disorders, vulnerability to crime

    Wellbeing of those experiencing homelessness
  2. studios/one-bedroom apartments, tiny homes

    Availability of affordable housing for single adults
  3. trash, human waste, fire safety

    Environmental impact
  4. trespassing, property theft

    Private property/security
  5. panhandling, substance abuse

    Negative coping mechanisms

Which of the following City-funded services have you heard of? *Hold Ctrl and Select to highlight your answer(s).*

Response Percent Response Count
40 Prado 85.6% 155
CAT 44.8% 81
MCU 41.4% 75
Prado Safe Parking 61.9% 112
RR Safe Parking 54.1% 98
None of the above 10.5% 19

If you experience someone on the street suffering from a mental health distress (erratic behavior, verbal outburst, unintentional physical exposure) but not presenting an immediate danger to themselves or others what would you do?

Response Percent Response Count
Walk away 50.3% 91
Call 911 6.1% 11
Call non-emergency dispatch 28.2% 51
Other 15.5% 28

Where do you go to find information or resources related to homelessness response in SLO City? *Hold ctrl and click to highlight answer(s)*

Response Percent Response Count
N/A. 17.3% 31
Google 40.8% 73
Local News Website 26.8% 48
SLO City website 42.5% 76
Other 14.5% 26

Rank the urgency of the following data elements:

Average priorities over 181 responses
  1. There are multiple City departmnets that engage with the unsheltered population in SLO City on a daily basis. This data platform will coordinate their efforts to ensure efficient and effective use of resources. 

    Data sharing platform to coordinate street/encampment outreach
  2. The City's primary role in homelessness response is to connect people to existing services. We see an opportunity to consolidate inforamtion on low-income housing opportunities so that it is more easily accessible. 

    Information for all available low-income housing units and financial housing assistance resources
  3. This will help the City quickly identify project sites and make use of funding opportunities with quick timeline requirements. 

    Inventory of properties that may be developed for emergency/transitional shelter

The City does not currently track the following data. Rank the importance of monitoring the following data points:

Average priorities over 181 responses
  1. Studies indicate people have a high likelihood of returning to homelessness even after being placed into permanent housing. This may help us get a more localized understanding of this phenomenon and inform our regional advocacy and pilot programs. 

    Rate of return to homelessness after placement in shelter/housing and causes
  2. This may help us understand how many people access services after being referred so that we can follow up and better understand barriers or reasons why people may still choose not to access available services. 

    Number of successful versus unsuccessful City outreach referrals to shelter/housing
  3. This may help us understand bottelnecks in existing services and inform future funding priorities. 

    Average time enrolled in case management before offer of housing
  4. This may help us determine vulnerability factors to inform our regional advocacy and pilot programs. 

    Cause of death among those experiencing homelessness

You've got 10 dots to 'spend'. How would you spend them on these services?

Response Percent Response Count
Street Outreach Services (resources solely dedicated to administering case management to those inhabiting public spaces) 21.1% 375
Safe Parking Spaces (parking lot spaces available 7pm-7am for people to sleep in their vehicle) 13.1% 234
Safe Sleeping Spaces (public facility open 7pm-7am for people to sleep on provided cots during periods of emergency – administered on first-come first-served basis) 15.2% 271
Emergency Shelter (congregate dorm beds, amenities (showers/laundry/meals), and case management – may be reserved nightly) 16.0% 284
Transitional Housing (non-congregate accommodation - reserved for up to 2 years while seeking permanent housing) 21.4% 381
Other 10.8% 193

Prioritize the following elements to advocate for County engagement:

Average priorities over 181 responses
  1. The City currently funds a variety of street outreach programs including, but not limited to, the Community Action Team and Mobile Crisis Unit. However, homelessness is a regional issue and people often traverse City jurisdictions. Having a single outreach system that is county-wide could streamline services to be more effective. 

    Establishment of county-wide street outreach teams to work with unsheltered population
  2. Rehabilitative services are often at capacity - leaving no place to take someone who is ready to accept these services. 

    Expanded drug and alcohol rehabilitation services
  3. CARE focuses on people with schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorders who meet specific criteria –  to offer a compassionate civil court process that provides participants with clinically appropriate services before they get arrested and committed to a State Hospital or become so impaired that they end up in a Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Mental Health Conservatorship.

    Adoption of CARE Court (process for court mandated mental health treatment)
  4. There are very few options for people who are low-income and need a living situation that includes medical care. Most of the participants at 40 Prado Homeless Services Center (the largest emergency shelter in our County) are medically vulnerable and prone to longer-term stays due to a lack of other available options. 

    Development of skilled nursing facilities for low-income individuals

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Choose at most 3 options

Strategy Development: The City is in the process of developing a 2-year Strategic Plan to Prevent and Address Homelessness. Year 1 is focused on identifying and amplifying what is working, while Year 2 is focused on innovating ways to address critical gaps.


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panhandling, substance abuse

sanitation/hygiene, mental health decline, addictions disorders, vulnerability to crime

trash, human waste, fire safety

studios/one-bedroom apartments, tiny homes

trespassing, property theft


Communications: SLO City funds a variety of services dedicated to assisting people experiencing homelessness; however, these services are only effective if people know how to access them. The next few questions will help give us a better idea of what services we need to highlight to help more people.

Abbreviations spelled out: 

  • 40 Prado: 40 Prado Homeless Services Center;
  • CAT: Community Action Team;
  • MCU: Mobile Crisis Unit;
  • Prado Safe Parking: Safe Parking Program @ 40 Prado Rd.;
  • RR Safe Parking: Safe Parking Program @ Railroad Corridor.

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Data: Data related to homelessness is very limited. We currently rely on an annual Point in Time Count to provide information on our homeless population, but this does not give an accurate day-to-day understanding of the needs/limitations of people experiencing homelessness within SLO City. The following questions list data initiatives the City is interested in pursuing as part of our homelessness response strategy. 


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There are multiple City departmnets that engage with the unsheltered population in SLO City on a daily basis. This data platform will coordinate their efforts to ensure efficient and effective use of resources. 

This will help the City quickly identify project sites and make use of funding opportunities with quick timeline requirements. 

The City's primary role in homelessness response is to connect people to existing services. We see an opportunity to consolidate inforamtion on low-income housing opportunities so that it is more easily accessible. 


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This may help us understand how many people access services after being referred so that we can follow up and better understand barriers or reasons why people may still choose not to access available services. 

This may help us determine vulnerability factors to inform our regional advocacy and pilot programs. 

Studies indicate people have a high likelihood of returning to homelessness even after being placed into permanent housing. This may help us get a more localized understanding of this phenomenon and inform our regional advocacy and pilot programs. 

This may help us understand bottelnecks in existing services and inform future funding priorities. 


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Pilot Programs & Funding Opportunities: The City has a strong history of leading by example through developing pilot programs. Once proved effective, the City coordinates with the County to officially adopt and fund these programs long-term. Of course, these programs require the City to prioritize funding resources and pursue new grant opportunities. The following question asks for your feedback on existing and potential pilot programs.




Street Outreach Services (resources solely dedicated to administering case management to those inhabiting public spaces)

Safe Parking Spaces (parking lot spaces available 7pm-7am for people to sleep in their vehicle)

Safe Sleeping Spaces (public facility open 7pm-7am for people to sleep on provided cots during periods of emergency – administered on first-come first-served basis)

Emergency Shelter (congregate dorm beds, amenities (showers/laundry/meals), and case management – may be reserved nightly)

Transitional Housing (non-congregate accommodation - reserved for up to 2 years while seeking permanent housing)

Other

Regional Collaboration & Engagement: When it comes to local homelessness response, the County receives the greatest amount of funding. This is because programs that target underlying issues (behavioral health, public health, drug and alcohol services, social services, etc.) are implemented at the County level. As such the City’s role is to identify localized needs, connect to existing resources, and advocate for resources to address ongoing gaps.   


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CARE focuses on people with schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorders who meet specific criteria –  to offer a compassionate civil court process that provides participants with clinically appropriate services before they get arrested and committed to a State Hospital or become so impaired that they end up in a Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Mental Health Conservatorship.

The City currently funds a variety of street outreach programs including, but not limited to, the Community Action Team and Mobile Crisis Unit. However, homelessness is a regional issue and people often traverse City jurisdictions. Having a single outreach system that is county-wide could streamline services to be more effective. 

Rehabilitative services are often at capacity - leaving no place to take someone who is ready to accept these services. 

There are very few options for people who are low-income and need a living situation that includes medical care. Most of the participants at 40 Prado Homeless Services Center (the largest emergency shelter in our County) are medically vulnerable and prone to longer-term stays due to a lack of other available options. 


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Thank you for providing feedback on this important issue. For more information on the City’s homelessness response efforts please visit: www.slocity.org/homelessness


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