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 professional backgrounds.
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. Additionally, we have discovered that there are other basic needs they lack: showers, laundry, housing, and access to social services to name a few. Some of those needs can be met in the short run, others will take more time and effort to achieve.
In 2015 we 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) is open every night; we are open only on rainy and freezing nights. Several local churches have graciously offered to take turns providing shelter on such nights.
The warming station, however, serves a relatively small percentage of the homeless. We have been able to shelter up to 12 persons per night. We plan to grow and provide 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 41 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.
Warming Shelter Operations Manager
Greg Carroll has been a North County resident for 21 years with a career as a Logistic Supervisor and Custom Carpenter. He has owned EarthTones Gifts and Gallery since 2005. He has been trained in crisis management and numerous philanthropic nonprofit fundraising.Greg was a chaperone and provided a monthly dinner to Paso Cares, and it was through this experience that he joined the Board of Paso Cares Homeless Services.
Robert is an Architect with experience in Educational, Governmental, Industrial and Housing Projects. He has been a volunteer with the American Institute of Architects, Glean SLO, Friendship Force International and Habitat for Humanity. Robert received his Architectural Degree from Cal Poly in SLO. Robert and his wife travel with Friendship Force International and reside in Cambria.
Jerry has been involved with the homeless since he and his wife met Mike and Charlotte Byrne (the founders of ECHO in Atascadero) over 15 years ago, and volunteers as an oversight chaperone at ECHO. He has been a member of Paso Cares since he retired in 2014. Jerry attends Paso Robles Community Church.
Tony was born in North Carolina and has lived all over the U.S.In 1979,Tony moved to San Luis Obispo,after serving 4 years in the 82nd Airborne,as a paratrooper.In 1989,Tony and his wife Kim moved to Paso Robles where they raised their three children.Tony is currently the owner of Ritter Construction,that he established in 1991. He also volunteers for Skills USA and is on the Construction Advisory Board at Cuesta College. Tony has a heart for the homeless.