Jan 12, 2013 7:31 PM by Kathrene Herndon, KSBY News
Community members and officials in San Luis Obispo met on Saturday to discuss the issue of homelessness in the city.
The San Luis Obispo City Council held a workshop to discuss homelessness on the Central Coast, and the issues and impacts it has on the City of San Luis Obispo.
The community was invited to attend the event at the San Luis Obispo Library, and to give their feedback.
Mayor Jan Marx says, "The question is, you know, what can the County of San Luis Obispo, what can the City of San Luis Obispo do to help the people who are open to being helped, who need help?"
She says the two main purposes of the forum were to hear from the public about their ideas for making the situation better all around, and also for the City Council to be able to have a conversation with each other about the issue.
"I'd say the greatest concern that I hear about is the presence of transients in the downtown and in the business parks, and a concern about just the level of safety in the town, and people who've lived here for a long time feel there are a lot more transients than there used to be."
She says between 1,500 and 1,700 people have been identified as homeless in San Luis Obispo.
"Whether the behavior that people are concerned about is actually a result of homelessness....you don't have to be homeless to do something that violates a law," Marx says.
She says she is optimistic that the City Council will do its best to deal with the situation.
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