5Cities Homeless Coalition is recognized as a leading advocate for the homeless in southern San Luis Obispo County, California. 5CHC strengthens the community by mobilizing resources, fostering hope, and advocating for the homeless and those facing homelessness.
Through collaboration and leadership, we are building an engaged community that fully understands the complexities of homelessness and actively shares the responsibility of creating and implementing solutions to reduce it.
Since its inception seven years ago, the organization has developed strength as a community leader by working closely with other community agencies and organizations to assess current services and opportunities for collaboration to provide for immediate needs, all towards the goal of self-sufficiency.
5CHC clients are homeless and low-income residents of southern San Luis Obispo County. 5CHC staff members regularly visit hospitals, food pantries and encampments, conducting outreach to homeless residents.
We have developed an extensive network of volunteers and agencies including the faith community, family resource centers, Lucia Mar Unified School District, Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, Community Health Centers of the Central Coast and other providers such as Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, Transitions Mental Health Association, and the County Department of Social Services. Through this network we are able to combine efforts without duplication to identify and assist those in need.
5Cities Homeless Coalition (5CHC) is dedicated to changing lives. Through client outreach, information and referral, service coordination, housing assistance, and support with immediate needs, hundreds of our area’s most vulnerable neighbors receive coordinated and expanded services to help them achieve self-sufficiency.
We help families stay together, we help homeless children in local school districts stay in school, and we help those who have nowhere else to go move from the streets into homes that are warm and safe.
In 2015 we received and responded to more than 3,000 calls for help; so far in 2016 the number of calls for help have doubled.
Our dedicated “Helping Hands” fund is often a last resort for many families, providing deposits for housing, move-in costs, and immediate needs such as temporary motel stays, bus passes, textbooks, childcare, transportation expenses, utility assistance, auto repair, groceries and clothing.
We operate winter warming centers on nights when rain or cold make sleeping outdoors a health and safety risk.
As the lead management and service coordinator in the area addressing the many challenges facing families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, our operating strategy involves identifying gaps in current services, strengthening the network of services available, and educating the community and providers about the challenges and resources available.
We work extensively with government agencies as well as faith and community-based organizations to develop and coordinate supportive services leading to self-sufficiency. We rely on volunteers and professionals from many agencies to ensure that clients receive guidance and counseling related to personal growth, access to appropriate benefits and community resources, and immediate relief while in crisis. We develop resources that help stabilize their lives and re-house them. This is done using a comprehensive case plan based on an analysis of their challenges and opportunities.