Homeless services center gets SLO planning commission approval

The San Luis Obispo Planning Commission on Wednesday approved a use permit for the Homeless Services Center in San Luis Obispo on South Higuera Street.

Community Action Partners of San Luis Obispo County – formerly the Economic Opportunity Commission – wants to develop a center that would combine and expand the homeless services now being offered at the Maxine Lewis Homeless Shelter and the Prado Day Center.

The center will be located adjacent to the Department of Social Services on South Higuera Street.

The concept is part of a strategy called "A Path to a Home: A Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness" that was endorsed by the county and the county's seven incorporated cities in 2009.

The plan calls for 200 beds, a commercial kitchen capable of serving three meals a day, laundry facilities, showers, lockers and storage, offices for caseworkers, a classroom for children, and community and multipurpose rooms.

People spoke passionately in support of the center with a few nearby business owners opposed to the location, saying the 1.1-acre site is too small for what is planned. County Supervisor Adam Hill called the plan a "model of collaboration."

The projected cost of such a campus is between $4 million and $6 million.

The center’s design must be approved by the city’s Architectural Review Commission.