Council receives report from Unhoused Futures Studies Task Force

PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles City Council met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, May 17, where the Unhoused Futures Studies Task Force provided its report.

The task force, made up of 16 community members, had a collective belief the homeless problem in Paso Robles is “acute” and “negatively impacting the quality of life in Paso Robles.”

To address the situation, the task force agreed future efforts should address the root causes of homelessness in Paso and tailor its services around those causes and their individual needs. It was also agreed that the city needs to enforce a no-public-camping ordinance.


There was a belief that more efforts need to be made to address drug and alcohol use in school-aged children in Paso as they are more at risk of falling down a path that leads to homelessness.

“I don’t think the city is the complete solution for all aspects of homelessness,” said Mayor Steve Martin. “But we need to define what the city’s role is and make sure we fund that and apply resources to that consistently.”

The item was informational only, and no action was taken. The city will be looking further into determining its role in addressing homelessness and the possibility of developing a strategic plan.

A member of the public, Dale Gustin, requested the council remove all items on the consent agenda referring to oak tree removal to be discussed and voted on separately. Items 18 through 20 are requests for oak tree removal. 

Item 18 requested approval to remove seven oak trees at 817 Oxen Street for a new single-family residence and detached workshop. Item 19 and 20 are for the removal of one oak tree each at 1416 Vine Street and 2906 Ardmore Road.

Council unanimously approved all three requests for oak tree removal.

Council then revisited a Feb. 16 request from the El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) for a one-time grant of $444,000 to cover staffing costs not paid by other funders. On March 15, an ECHO Ad Hoc Committee was created with Councilmembers John Hamon and Steve Gregory.

Hamon and Gregory recommended to the rest of council that they approve allocating the funds to ECHO in a two-year period and proposed to review and discuss the item in the next budget cycle starting July 1, 2024.

Martin wanted more accountability measures for ECHO to ensure the tax dollars would be appropriately used. 

Councilman Hamon echoed the Mayor’s concerns and made a motion to direct staff to bring back to council a formal resolution to fund ECHO $444,000 over the next two budget cycles of the city and work with the Ad Hoc committee and ECHO staff to agree to provide quarterly reports accounting for taxpayer dollars.

Gregory seconded the motion, which passed with a 5-0 vote. 

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for June 7 at 6:30 p.m.