San Luis Obispo County

Neighbors express concern over proposed homeless center at Arroyo Grande city council meeting

Residents share concern over homeless center concept at Arroyo Grande city council meeting

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. - A proposed homeless shelter with 44 beds and 20 low income housing units, has some neighbors speaking out to anyone who will listen.

They showed up to an Arroyo Grande city council meeting Tuesday evening, even though the project would be in neighboring Grover Beach.

Paul Hertel is one of the concerned neighbors who attended the meeting.

“We have children walking down the street. We have seniors walking their dogs. It's just a very quiet neighborhood and this homeless center is going to be placed in our neighborhood about 147 feet from my property line,” Hertel said.

Neighbors from both Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande came to the meeting to express their frustration and concerns over the project

Michael Roman, a minister at Hillside Church where the facility is being considered, shared what he is already seeing the neighborhood.

“There are problems with people going through trucks and some vandalism and things like that,” Roman said.

Mayor Caren Ray Russom of Arroyo Grande explained that while Arroyo Grande city council is not the decision maker on the matter, attendees were asking city staff to oppose the project.

"We are doing the best that we can outside of our own jurisdiction right now, while there's no project pending,” Ray Russom said.

If the concept does move forward, manager Matt Bronson of Grover Beach said the project will be presented in the city of Grover Beach.

“The city of Grover Beach's role is to be a regulator and to consider this as a potential developing project,” Bronson said.

Bronson Stresses that it is not a city of Grover Beach-lead concept, and more community outreach would need to be done if the project goes forward.

This is a concept that is being proposed by two nonprofit agencies, the 5 Cities Coalition, and Peoples' Self-Help Housing.

Ray Russom said she commends those neighbors who acknowledge the need for homeless services.

While leaders from both cities agree that this concept is not a project at this time, neighbors are worried.

“We're concerned about children walking to school, elderly walking their dogs, and just the overall safety of the neighborhood,' Hertel said.

Ray Russom said Arroyo Grande city council will hold a public hearing that will allow for discussion with the neighbors.

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