On January 24, several homeless people living along Prado Road in San Luis Obispo were forced to move from the area by San Luis Obispo Police.
San Luis Obispo Public Communications Manager Whitney Szentesi said that the encampment had to be cleared out due to its location which is “very close to the street, practically on the street, and right in a construction site.”
The proximity of the encampment to the street as well as the prevalence of large trucks driving by made the situation hazardous for homeless residents.
Residents of the encampment were notified before the eviction.
“We are really focused on assisting those who will accept our help,” Szentesi said.
The city often refers members of the homeless population to 40 Prado, or tries to find a solution through contacting family and friends.
“Homelessness is a problem all across the state,” Szentesi said. “Our community really needs to work together to help those who are willing to accept our help.”
Szentesi said that the city’s focus is on fair and compassionate assistance as they also work to enforce the law.
However, many feel that the city is not doing enough to address the homelessness crisis.
“It’s unconscionable what city government is directing law enforcement to do to our homeless folks – we treat our dogs better,” Becky Jorgeson, Founder of Hope’s Village, wrote in an email. “There IS nowhere for homeless people to legally go, and they don’t need ‘services’ – they need housing.”
More information on what the city of San Luis Obispo is doing about homelessness prevention and assistance is available here.