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Opening of SLO’s 40 Prado homeless shelter delayed a month

The new 40 Prado homeless center was supposed to open Sept. 1, but it has been delayed due to construction hangups and now it’s likely to open in early October.
The new 40 Prado homeless center was supposed to open Sept. 1, but it has been delayed due to construction hangups and now it’s likely to open in early October. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The opening of the long-awaited 40 Prado center in San Luis Obispo — which will provide a host of services for homeless people — has been delayed by about a month.

The $5.7 million, 100-bed center, which boasts separate dorms for families and a warming center for up to 50 people during inclement weather, was scheduled to open Saturday.

But the new facility at 40 Prado Road, including a 20,000 square-foot building, is now set to open in early October.

The setback happened because of “typical delays in construction and work to get the building finished,” said John Spatafore, who has helped coordinate fundraising efforts for the new facility.

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Homeless services advocates gathered in Atascadero to help raise money and awareness while walking downtown during the 7th annual Long Walk Home.

The remaining work includes installing items, beds, cabinets and interior decor in the new building.

The 40 Prado center will combine services that were previously offered at two San Luis Obispo facilities: Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter and Prado Day Center.

The new facility will offer assistance including shelter, daycare, medical services and job training to homeless people.

“People won’t have to walk across town to get different services because they’ll all be in one place,” Spatafore said. “There will be an after-school programs for kids, job programs and a whole outdoor area. Children will be able to play. Adults can sit read or have lunch.

“It will have the feel of a place that’s warm.”

Other amenities will include on-site breakfast, lunch and dinner with a commercial kitchen, plus, showers, laundry, pet kennels and phone and mail services.

A primary care clinic will be provided by Community Health Centers of the Central Coast and on-site referrals will be available for mental health services.

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40 prado rendering
The 40 Prado homeless services center, shown here in an architectural rendering, will hold a grand opening in early October. Laurie Thomas Garcia Architecture + Design

Spatafore said that the idea behind the center is to serve people who are seeking a more stable lifestyle and want to take advantage of available support system.

Drug and alcohol testing will be issued to ensure that the center remains a sober environment. And treatment for those who are using substances will be made available at other facilities in the city.

The Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County (CAPSLO) is in the process of hiring staff members and volunteers to help operate the center.

To learn more about those job opportunities, visit www.capslo.org.

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