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San Luis Obispo Launches New Effort To Address Homeless Issue In City's Downtown Area

Matthew Woitunski

Like so many cities, large and small, San Luis Obispo has been affected by the homelessness crisis in California – with numbers rising by more than 22% over the last decade, even before the effects of COVID.

Now, the City of San Luis Obispo has provided a $30,000 grant for an outreach worker to help tackle the issue in downtown San Luis Obispo.

Forming partnerships and working together to tackle the homelessness issue, that’s what Downtown SLO – the business association best known for events like the city’s Thursday night Farmers market and Concerts In The Plaza, who have teamed up with Community Action Agency CAPSLO – says it’s all about, thanks to the cash injection.

"Since the shutdown in March, and as we move through recovery, this issue has become more prevalent," said Bettina Swigger, CEO of Downtown SLO. "If COVID has taught us anything, it's that we must work together, and so we looked to an organization that does so much good already in the community, and we said, 'how can we partner?'"

If COVID has taught us anything, it's that we must work together

The City of San Luis Obispo is providing grant funding in the amount of $30,000 for Downtown SLO to partner with CAPSLO’s professional homeless outreach workers to provide 20 hours of weekly service specifically in the Downtown Business Improvement Area.  

The professional outreach worker will take a person-centric approach, seeking to understand and address people’s individual needs and connect them to the right resources. The outreach is intended to bridge the gap between those experiencing homelessness and their support system and can often lead to permanent housing and family reunification.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022 and 2023.

Since joining the station she's won 7 Golden Mike Awards, 4 Los Angeles Press Club Awards and 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for ten years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.
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