SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - In just the last decade, the City of San Luis Obispo has created ordinances and regulations that often times, negatively affect the homeless population.
Becky Jorgeson, a 50-year resident of San Luis Obispo, started a petition to repeal any city ordinance that continuously results in the citing of homeless people for "illegal lodging."
"Obviously if people are camping in those ways, or even sleeping overnight in their cars, they're not in position to pay steep fines," SLO mayor Heidi Harmon said.
In 2008, SLO County published a 10-year plan to end homelessness countywide. It outlined three primary components essential to eradicating homelessness: Affordable housing, comprehensive human services, and the creation of comprehensive tools for prevention of those that may be at risk of becoming homeless.
Jorgeson founded a non-profit organization called "Hope's Village of SLO", and together with the organization's five other board members, is working towards the creation of a community village that would expand the City's homeless housing needs.
Earlier in the week, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon visited a homeless encampment where she listened to the many personal stories and concerns of the local homeless population. Some saw the mayor's visit as a ray of hope for the upcoming new year.
"I was out in the creeks yesterday chatting with some of our homeless community there," Harmon said.