San Luis Obispo County

New SLO Homeless Center Receives Anonymous Gift

$250,000 matching grant pushes project closer to $5.2 million finish line

SLO Homeless Shelter

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - San Luis Obispo's ongoing effort to build a new, consolidated homeless center and shelter has received a huge financial boost.

An anonymous donor is offering a $250,000 matching grant to help project organizers reach the total fundraising goal of $5.2 million to open the new facility.

Wideline known as "40 Prado", the new, consolidated homeless center-shelter will be built on three acres of land on Prado Road and will replace the existing Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter and Prado Day Center.

"So we're about $750,000 away from reaching that number ($5.2 million)", says John Spatafore, President of the Homeless Foundation of San Luis Obispo County which is spearheading the project and fundraising drive, "we got this grant that was provided by an anonymous donor who challenges the rest of the community to match his $250,000, that will bring us fairly close to $400,000 left to raise."

The new homeless center-shelter is envisioned as a clean, safe and sober haven for those in need, single mothers, children, returning veterans and others who find themselves homeless due to poverty, job loss, illness or some other disabling situation.

"Where there will be beds for a 100 people, children, families, separate units", Spatafore says, "provide services from medical to employment training to on the job skill training to after school services for children."

The 40 Prado homeless center-shelter project is being funded mostly through private enterprise and private donations and could serve as a model for other, neighboring communities struggling with the crippling and costly effects of homelessness.

Spatafore says the anonymous donor is a local resident who supports 40 Prado's range of services and focus on helping people achieve permanent housing.

"It takes really the cooperative effort of government, individuals and private enterprise to find the means to provide services to people who really want to become resourceful again and really want to be able to take care of themselves and their family", Spatafore says, "most of the money is coming from people in the community who don't want recognition but realize this is something that the community needs. Its just a reflection of so many people who are willing to put money, effort and volunteerism into this idea."

Spatafore says groundbreaking for 40 Prado is expected later this year and should be completed by 2018. 

For more information about the project or to make a donation go to

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