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Central Coast leaders on homelessness hold conference to find solutions

The Central Coast Water Board held a conference in San Luis Obispo on Thursday. They brought together different leaders that hope to find solutions to homelessness.

The Water Board brought attention to the harm it does to the environment.

“What we wanted to do is bring together some experts who have experienced success in dealing with homeless issues. We are trying to resolve a really complex problem,” said John Robertson, an executive officer for the SLO Central Coast Water Board.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer spoke at the conference on how his city has seen a successful 6 percent decrease in their homelessness.

“We have really tried to take an all of the above approach. It’s not just about shelters. We also have a place for folks to store their belongings for free,” said Faulconer.

Faulconer said his strategy is collaboration and funding.

“When our officers interact with someone on the street the first thing they say is how can I help you get a bed tonight,” said Faulconer.

Faulconer eradicated homeless tent dwellings by 90 percent.

“It’s not compassionate to allow someone to live on the street in a tent,” said Faulconer.

“One of the main messages that came across at the conference today was how important it is for a collaboration across agencies. And how it might take collaborating with partners who are not normally part of the groups you partner with. For example the Water Board and homeless groups,” said Homeless Services Coordinator of the SLO Department of Social Services Laurel Weir.

Presenters SLO Downtown Streets Teams gave the group unique ideas on how they’ve empowered the homeless to keep the environment clean.

KEYT 2019

Article Topic Follows: Community

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