ECHO Homeless Shelter is pleased to announce it has received a total of $13,000 in grant funding from The Community Foundation through the 2019/2020 Opportunity to Thrive Initiative, Community Needs Grant, and Robert H. Janssen Foundation Grant programs.  The grants will help support shelter operations and add additional services through July 2020. Part of the funding awarded to ECHO will be used to support ECHO’s Client Assistance Program. The program provides transitional, one-time or short-term assistance and includes assistance with security deposits, job apparel, transportation, tuition and training costs, credit counseling, DMV fees to obtain a drivers license, storage fees, utilities turn on at move-in, and other move-in needs (i.e. furniture, appliances).

ECHO operates a safe and secure overnight 50 bed shelter to meet the immediate needs of families and individuals who have become homeless.  With a unique residency program, clients are provided case management services to assist them in securing a job and finding permanent and sustainable housing within three months of entering the shelter program.  While enrolled in the program, clients are taught life skills for employment, budgeting, health care management and social communication and interaction.  The goal and the result of this practical support is the empowerment of residents to move in a positive direction while assisting them in acquiring the skills and services they need to become self-sustaining, including secure housing.

el camino homeless organization

 A force of 1,500 community volunteers provide ancillary support to run the shelter program and a meal program that serves as many as 80 dinners each night to shelter residents and the homeless population. ECHO also operates a shower program that provides hot showers three nights a week to anyone in need.  ECHO supplies the homeless population all the necessary toiletries and offers access to clothing, shoes, blankets and sleeping bags. 

“We are very excited to receive this generous gift from The Community Foundation,” said Wendy Lewis, President/CEO of ECHO, “The grant will help us provide the resources needed as the people we serve work hard to put the pieces together to find permanent homes.”

 “We are proud that $13,000 in funding from The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County during 2019 will be used to support a variety of essential programs at ECHO” explained Heidi McPherson, CEO of The Community Foundation. “We know how important it is to be able to offer children’s activities and enrichment scholarship programs for our homeless youth, was well as have funding for the day to day shelter operations and client assistance programs.”

About El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO)

 ECHO’s mission since 2001 is to empower people in SLO County to make positive change by providing food, shelter, and supportive services. ECHO operates a 50-bed shelter, a daily community dinner program, and shower program for homeless individuals and families throughout San Luis Obispo County. Join us at our next Empty Bowls in April this year. For more information, please visit our website at

About The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County is a grantmaking and education foundation supporting charitable work across our county.  Since 1998, The Community Foundation has supported our county with grants and scholarships totaling almost $35 million.  The Foundation’s charitable assets under management have grown to nearly $60 million and provide support to all aspects of our community in perpetuity.  For more information or to donate to any fund or establish a new fund, visit or call 805-543-2323.