County Donates Surplus COVID Trailers

Written by Estero Bay News

September 7, 2023

The County is giving away some trailers it got in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic but no longer need.

County Supervisors were recently asked to approve giving away the emergency trailers, which the County got in April 2020 from the State Office of Emergency Services “to be used in response to the emergency and thereafter to respond to the homeless needs in the community,” reads the staff report from County OES. “The county has been lending the trailers to Good Samaritan for use as homeless shelters and has no current use for the trailers.”

Good Samaritan Shelter is based locally in Santa Maria and has facilities and programs throughout Santa Barbara County (see: https://goodsamaritanshelter.org).

According to the agency’s website, “For approximately 27 years, Good Samaritan Shelter has focused on its commitment to provide emergency, transitional and affordable housing with support services to the homeless and those in recovery throughout the Central Coast. 

“The passion of its managers, screeners, overnight hosts, food handlers, community, and the Board of Directors have given Good Samaritan an invaluable reputation for service and concern to the needy. By providing an array of programs tailored to match the needs of the local communities in which it serves, Good Samaritan shelter is transforming the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations.”

In essence, the County declared the COVID-19 trailers “unused property,” which allows them to be donated to charitable organizations that fit certain criteria, as in this case, working for and with the homeless, a stipulation in the State’s giving them to the County in the first place.

Ironically, the giveaway comes as the County is closing a homeless safe parking facility on Oklahoma Avenue and the City of San Luis Obispo is closing down a safe parking program it had started during the pandemic located at the railway station.

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