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County seeks homeless coordinator 

If you’re an unemployed program manager with experience in managing government grants and working to end homelessness, San Luis Obispo County is hiring.

County officials are encouraging anyone interested in serving as the lead for the county’s Homeless Services Oversight Council (HSOC) to apply by April 27.

On April 24, SLO County supervisors unanimously approved a request by the county Department of Planning and Building and the county Department of Social Services to hire a program manager tasked with overseeing the council and the county’s 10-year plan to end homelessness.

Though the plan is never expected to actually end homelessness—county officials say federal standards require such a name for the plan—having a plan and system in place allows the county, nonprofit organizations, and private institutions to collectively snag grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The county has thus far been able to secure two “bonus” grants, of $107,100 and $110,263, that provide housing and case-management services for 16 homeless individuals, according to a county staff report.

The council had a part-time executive director who recently stepped down from the role. Additionally, a part-time employee from United Way also left the position after a year with the council because of “an inordinate amount of her time was consumed by administrative support tasks that included agenda preparation, taking minutes, and attending subcommittee meetings,” according to a staff report.

County planning staffers have assumed the responsibilities of both positions, but they’ve recommended hiring a “homeless services coordinator,” who will be listed as a program manager, to oversee grants and work with the various agencies on programs aimed at curbing homelessness.

Social Services Director Lee Collins told county supervisors the person who takes the job will have to be comfortable in business attire and able to talk to people in the creeks. The program manager will make a salary of $106,499, with $14,910 coming out of the county’s General Fund.

County supervisors were unanimously in support of the proposal, but asked staffers to set goals and performance measures, and to report back regularly to the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Jim Patterson, who also serves as the council chair, said, “If we’re going to advance this program we need to take the next step.”

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