who and what we are
Paso Cares is a local non-profit organization whose mission to provide for the immediate and longer term needs of homeless and needy persons and families in the Paso Robles area. Our members attend several local churches and come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
In our area, there are about 300 homeless persons. Some camp, some live in cars, some surf the couches and floors of their friends and families. There are many other individuals and families who are housing "insecure", having to worry about their housing situations on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis. Additionally, we have discovered that there are other basic needs they lack: showers, laundry, and access to social services to name a few. Some of those needs can be met in the short run, but others will take more time and effort to achieve.
In 2015 Paso Cares began our efforts by operating a warming station to provide the homeless a dry and warm place to sleep when it rains or is freezing. A warming station differs from a homeless shelter in that the latter (e.g. ECHO at Motel 6) is open every night; the warming stations were open only on rainy and freezing (below 38 degrees) nights. Five local churches had graciously offered to take turns providing shelter on such nights. We ended our warming stations in 2019. We plan to grow and are now providing additional services to the homeless.
What motivates us to undertake this work?
As people who have experienced the love of God in our own lives, we wish to extend the that love to the less fortunate as we are commissioned to do in Matthew 25: I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.
Homelessness can result from a lot of different types of unfortunate events, many of which were not the fault of homeless. Being homeless tends to start a downward spiral of depression and stress, which can open the door to other debilitating problems. Healing can start with listening to them and extending friendship as we offer services to meet their basic needs.
Simple things like showers and clean clothes can greatly improve the homeless person’s sense of self-esteem and help them obtain a job. Feeding them helps maintain their health, which in turn, can stem the spread of disease beyond their numbers. Knowing someone who cares eases stress.
We believe that by providing services, we might prevent some homeless persons from seeking to meet their needs via illegal means.
Consequently, the community at large benefits from a cleaner, healthier, and sheltered homeless population.
Jack and his wife Margaret have lived in Templeton for 46 years, where they raised their three children (with 9 grandchildren now). Jack has an accounting degree from Cal Poly Pomona and a law degree from UC Hastings in San Francisco. He is a business and tax attorney, and a former CPA. Jack has been active in many school and non-profit organizations in SLO County, and involved with Paso Cares since its inception in May 2012. Jack attends Covenant Presbyterian Church in Paso Robles.
My name is Mary Booker and I was born and raised here in Paso Robles. I'm the mother of 6 children and grandmother of 18 grandchildren. I have worked at One Stop for 20 years now and started doing community outreach there, feeding and clothing our unhoused community members. I have been on the board of Paso Cares for almost two years and am currently board President! My motto is It Takes A Village!! No one should ever be hungry or in need of basic necessities!! I'm committed to making a difference!!