By KAREN VELIE
As part of a plan to provide housing options for the homeless, the Grover Beach City Counsel voted unanimously on Monday to purchase a vacant property at 955 South 4th Street for the future construction of a homeless housing facility. Council members also voted to allocate American Rescue Plan Act funds for the purchase.
“Homelessness continues to be a top priority for City Council and city staff,” Mayor Jeff Lee said. “With the purchase of this property, we will enable the 5 Cities Homeless Coalition to develop a homeless housing facility to provide critically needed shelter space in the region.”
The facility is slated to serve as bridge housing or an emergency shelter. In partnership with the Grover Beach Police Department, the coalition intends to provide a high-level of management and monitoring to enhance the safety of homeless individuals and city residents.
In a community survey conducted in fall 2021, 70% of respondents indicated that the city should do more to address homelessness, and supported the following actions:
· Temporary or permanent shelter space
· Outreach to homeless individuals on accessing services and housing
· Clearing encampments and enforcing camping ordinances
The city is also working to establish a temporary emergency shelter at 286 South 16th Street. The city plans to install 20 “cabins” that are roughly 100 square feet in size, which will become operational this spring through at least Dec. 2023.