Supervisors discuss San Luis Obispo countywide five-year plan to address homelessness 

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — Questions were raised on the integrity of the results from the Primary Election during public comment at the Board of San Luis Obispo County Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Concerns regarded the length of time it took to count the votes, the use of electronic counting, and the validity of mail-in ballots.

District 5 Supervisor Debbie Arnold responded to the public on the matter and echoed their concerns.

“These citizens that are here today that came to speak are here expressing many of the same concerns that I’ve had,” said Arnold. “I just want to thank them for being poll watchers, for being election observers, and that work has led them to continue to work on this issue of election integrity.”

At the July 19 supervisor meeting, Arnold issued concerns on the election process. During that meeting, all the supervisors, except Arnold, certified the 2022 Primary Election results.

At the time, Arnold issued her concerns over the security and accuracy of the election due to recent changes to the election process, including mail-in ballots, use of drop boxes, and use of machine tabulations.

District 3 Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg followed Arnold with a different opinion on the subject. 

“It’s really hard to listen to this week after week,” said Ortiz-Legg. “The good old days of hand counting, there’s lots of inaccuracies on that. There’s plenty of reporting on that.”

She added, “I want to be respectful to you and all, but I also know that we have a really good system. And while there are changes afoot, we have to continue to stay on top of it. I appreciate that.”

Following closed session, supervisors returned to discuss the proposed five-year countywide plan to address homelessness.

The plan is broken into three phases:

  • 2022-2023 focuses on building interim housing capacity, prevention, and data
  • 2023-2025 will focus on expanded service capacity, and regional compact
  • 2025-2027 will focus on increased housing capacity and data-driven refinements

The plan says it addresses homelessness by viewing it as a condition that can be broken down into component elements, addressing them individually and simultaneously. To do this, the components are broken into six Lines of Effort (LOE).

  1. Build Affordable Housing: Create affordable and appropriately designed housing opportunities and shelter options for underserved populations. This LOE is considered the Main Effort of this strategy and is supported by the other five LOEs. This structure of LOEs intends to communicate the idea that if we do not ultimately increase the stock of affordable and appropriate housing, we can never truly reduce homelessness in the long term.
  2. Expand Services: Focus efforts to reduce or eliminate the barriers to housing stability for those experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, including prevention, diversion, supportive services, and housing navigation efforts.
  3. Improve Data: Improve and expand data management efforts through Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and coordinated entry system to strengthen data-driven operational guidance and strategic oversight.
  4. Create, Identify and Streamline Funding: Create, identify, and streamline funding and resources.
  5. Strengthen Regional Collaboration: Create regional, coordinated response to homelessness to minimize duplication of effort and improve system effectiveness to reduce homelessness.
  6. Public engagement: Build public engagement through information-sharing and partnerships.

The entire five-year plan can be found at

Funding for the plan will come from General Fund Support, ARPA, ESG-CV, HHAP2, HHAP3, and Future of Public Health Funding Allocation 2022 (ongoing). The current year’s financial impact is at $911,879 and the annual financial impact is estimated at $1,226,867.

Arnold motioned to approve and direct staff to proceed with the implementation of the San Luis Obispo Countywide Plan to Address Homelessness 2022-2027. District 1 Supervisor John Peschong seconded the motion.

After some discussion among the supervisors, they added direction to staff to develop a process for producing a behavioral health services strategic plan and return to the board as soon as possible to put it into motion.

The added direction came after supervisors found it important to add a plan to address behavioral health as they said, when they discuss homelessness, behavioral health is also brought into the conversation.

“I wanted to thank all the people that are here that put this together. Thank you for all of your hard work,” Peschong said. “Also missing today, I want to thank the sheriff’s deputies, also CalFire, our local police departments in the cities and our fire departments that are on the front line of this crisis.”

The five-year plan was unanimously approved by the supervisors.

The next SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for Aug. 23 at 9 a.m.