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COVID Community Response Project

COVID Community Response Project

keeping people housed with financial and social support thru El Camino Homeless Organization

The COVID Community Response Project is a joint collaboration between must! charities and Paso Wine Country Alliance that directly impacts families and individuals in our community affected by the pandemic. Raised money goes directly to support the project and individuals and families in need, through a thorough vetting process. Managed by El Camino Homeless Organization, the project helps families pay bills and rent, purchase groceries, find new job opportunities, and works to keep them on track – and in their homes.

More than just financial assistance, case managers also provide access to wrap around services and resources to keep families housed.

COVID Community Response Project

The Need

The COVID pandemic impacted families who were already living paycheck to paycheck, but also families who have never experienced food insecurity, job loss or mounting health bills. When people struggle to have basic needs met, they can quickly find themselves on the verge of becoming homeless.

  • The homeless population far exceeds our ability to serve those in need. The most recent point in time census (2019) SLO County reported 1,483 homeless individuals. In North County alone over 663 people are experiencing homelessness.
  • Currently, there are only 140 shelter beds in the North County, and only 240 beds countywide.
  • The 2008 recession resulted in a 45% increase nationwide of people experiencing homelessness in a one-year time period. It is estimated this year the numbers will be significantly higher than 2008’s fall, due to this pandemic uniquely devastating all sectors.
COVID Community Response Project

The Outcome

The goal of the COVID Community Response Project is to keep families housed. At the end of the commitment:

  • 200+ people will remain housed
  • 100+ applications for federal and state benefits initiated
  • 100+ job search and connections made
COVID Community Response Project

The Impact

Homelessness can be just a brief episode in one's life; if we use our resources wisely, no one in our community has to experience homelessness for the long-term. Chronically homeless individuals cost the taxpayer approximately $35,578 per year encompassing health, environmental, criminal justice, social and financial costs. By preventing homelessness due to the COVID pandemic the region retains the workforce it relies on to be successful, children stay in the schools and neighborhoods they are accustomed to, and the community saves potentially hundreds of thousands in health, social and financial costs.