San Luis Obispo County

Controversial housing project for homeless in Grover Beach finds new home in Pismo

PISMO BEACH, Calif. - A controversial housing project for the homeless has a new home in Pismo Beach.

5 Cities Homeless Coalition and People's Self-Help Housing announced the purchase of a lot in Pismo Beach. The development was originally planned for the Hillside Church property in Grover Beach. 

“We're thrilled to actually bring it to fruition," said Janna Nichols, 5 Cities Homeless Coalition Executive Director.

The project includes affordable housing and homeless services. 

“We wanted to have permanent supportive housing, housing for transitioning youth, and case management services," said Nichols. "So what we have done is taken each of those components and worked to put them in a new location.”

That location is an old medical building on 855 4th St. across from Motel 6 and near the 101 freeway.

“In many regards, I think that this will meet the community needs and may, in some regards, be a better location," said Nichols. 

People's Self-Help Housing will manage the 50-unit complex, which is expected to be finished in about three years.

One of the main goals is helping those ages 18 to 24 who have no place to live.

“We'll be working with them, not only in our case management services, but also in providing housing and enabling them to work in a variety of job skills or educational, etcetera, to help them transition into more permanent housing," the 5 Cities Homeless Coalition Executive Director said. 

For months, plans for this project faced backlash from neighbors when it was proposed at the Hillside Church Property in Grover Beach.

The new site is not in a residential zone.

“I think it's a good idea, I think it'll help people out," said resident Scott Bogle. "It's in a good spot.”

“I think it's a great idea any time we can help people who are less fortunate than us, I think it's a good thing," said resident Valinda Handy.

“I think it'd be great, everyone deserves a second chance, and good luck with that," said resident Paul Cristian.

Other neighbors said they had some doubts about the location because it's near a marketplace, and there were concerns about it attracting a bad crowd.  

5 Cities Homeless Coalition is also in the process of finding a place for their warming center this month.


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