In response to the need for additional housing options for the City of Grover Beach and San Luis Obispo County’s homeless population, the City Council unanimously voted to acquire the vacant property at 955 South 4th Street to serve as a future site for a homeless housing facility using allocated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds at the March 14 City Council meeting.
“Homelessness continues to be a top priority for City Council and City staff. As a City, we are committed to use these one-time ARPA funds to make a difference in our community by addressing this complex societal issue,” commented Grover Beach Mayor Jeff Lee. “With the purchase of this property, we will enable the 5Cities Homeless Coalition to develop a homeless housing facility to provide critically needed shelter space in the region.”
The City of Grover Beach recognizes that homelessness is a multidimensional issue that is much larger than any one city and has been working with partner agencies and organizations for several years, including the 5Cities Homeless Coalition (5CHC). Through 5CHC’s thorough research for suitable properties for homeless facilities in South County, 5CHC deemed the property at 955 South 4th Street to be an optimal location. The facility is 0.44 acres and located in the City’s Coastal Industrial Zone as well as the Emergency Shelter Overlay Zone.
The facility is planned to provide non-congregate temporary housing that could serve as bridge housing or an emergency shelter. In partnership with the Grover Beach Police Department, 5CHC intends to provide a high level of management and monitoring to enhance the safety of individuals experiencing homelessness and the Grover Beach community at large.
By establishing the housing facility, the City can provide secure shelter space to be able to better enforce camping prohibitions in public spaces, such as City parks, and address the concerns of community members. In a community survey conducted in fall 2021, 70% of respondents indicated that the City should do more to address homelessness, and supported the following actions:
• Temporary or permanent shelter space
• Outreach to homeless individuals on accessing services and housing
• Clearing encampments and enforcing camping ordinances
While the City has taken additional measures to ensure Grover Beach’s specific community needs are being met, Grover Beach continues to invest in the regional effort to establish a temporary emergency shelter on County property at 286 South 16th Street in Grover Beach. The shelter concept involves the installation of 20 “cabins” that are roughly 100 square feet in size. The facility would offer a comprehensive system of care that includes 24/7 case management and support to clients. This temporary emergency shelter will be the first shelter space in South County and is anticipated to begin operations this spring through at least December 2023.
The City is committed to maintaining its partnership with organizations and agencies across the County to provide emergency shelters, safe parking areas, transitional housing, group homes and other facilities to make progress toward long-term solutions to the homelessness crisis.