Quarterly report highlights community impact, success stories, and new programs
PASO ROBLES — It was time for another quarterly report from the El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) Paso Robles location during the Tuesday, July 18, City Council meeting. After issuing some requests from council, ECHO was approved to receive a third payment from the city in the amount of $55,000.
In February 2022, ECHO approached the city and requested a one-time grant of $444,000 to cover staffing costs not paid by other funders for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. In August 2022, the city approved an agreement with ECHO, which requires ECHO to present quarterly accounting and statistical reports to the city prior to issuing funds. Payments to ECHO are not to exceed $222,000 per fiscal year of 2022-2023 and 2022-2024.
Funding distributed to the nonprofit located on Black Oak Drive finances 25 percent of the staffing costs at the Paso Robles campus. According to ECHO’s presentation, over 1,500 community members volunteer their time for over 30,840 hours per year.
From March to May, ECHO provided 4,719 shelter stays with the most being in May at 1,618 stays. Breaking it down further, the quarter saw 544 individuals not receiving a room, and 313 were unduplicated nightly shelter stays.
In May, 46 individuals enrolled in ECHO’s 90-day program — nearly double of what they saw in March. In the last three months, ECHO was able to house 20 people and find employment for 21.
Some additional quarterly data includes:
- Dinners Served: 6,953
- Showers Provided: 486
- Food Bags Given: 750
- Referrals to Mental Health: 15
- Referrals to Drug/Alcohol: 10
- Referrals to Other Resources: 17
- Laundry Service On-site: 420
This quarter also welcomed new programs, including Clean Slate, Children’s story and craft time with Raising a Reader, a floral arranging class taught by a client with flowers donated by Trader Joe’s, and sound healing sessions were some of the most notable.
As part of their Good Neighbor program, ECHO 90-day program residents worked with staff to clean trash in the Black Oak neighborhood and they held a Neighborhood Stakeholders meeting on April 27, which reportedly had a positive turnout. The ECHO report also noted they did not receive any calls on the 24-hour line but its team did engage with local business owners to assist in outreach efforts.
Council members did request ECHO provide a more detailed report on their community outreach for future reports. This would include more details on which businesses were met with, when and where, etc., and ECHO agreed to do so.
Some ECHO success stories were also shared during the report.
After facing severe health issues, a separation, and homelessness, Danny found hope at ECHO’s Paso Robles campus. Joining the 90-Day Residential Emergency Shelter Program, he worked closely with his ECHO case manager to secure a sales job with a local solar company. Within weeks, he earned enough to buy a car, transforming his life positively.
In the summer of 2022, Kim faced homelessness and sought help at ECHO Paso Robles campus. She joined the 90-Day Residential Emergency Shelter Program, focusing on sobriety and setting goals. Collaborating with her case manager, she attended support groups and connected with community resources. Eventually, she found her own place and embraced a new chapter in life, leaving a lasting impact on ECHO.
The next Paso Robles City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 1, at 6:30 p.m.