Paso Robles gets federal grant for homeless, disabled services

Homeless and disabled people in North County will receive some aid from the city of Paso Robles, paid for by a recent federal grant of more than $191,000.

The Paso Robles City Council last week awarded El Camino Homeless Organization, the North County’s only homeless shelter, $28,720 of the grant to use for operating expenses at the shelter located in Atascadero.

The city has supported the program continuously since 2005 and allocated $22,836 in 2014, according to a city staff report.

The council also directed $124,453 from the grant for construction of disabled access ramps on Vine Street at 16th, 17th and 18th streets.

The source of the funds is the federal Community Development Block Grants program that distributes the funds annually for cities to help benefit low-income residents, reduce blight and address the community's welfare.

The city of Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County also receive 20 percent of the grant for administrative costs.

Officials at ECHO, the North County’s only homeless shelter, were not immediately available Friday to provide details on how it will use its grant. The nonprofit organization has been working since 2001 to provide 60 to 70 hot meals each evening for the North County’s homeless and recently expanded from 35 to 50 beds.