A center that provides meals, showers, laundry facilities and other vital services to the homeless has received a $25,000 grant from PG&E to provide energy efficiency upgrades.
The money will allow the Prado Homeless Day Center to upgrade its heating and air conditioning system, install an additional air conditioning unit, replace windows and weather strip the facility. The projects will create a healthier and more comfortable environment for residents, reduce the facility’s carbon footprint and reduce energy expenses.
Jason Lal, facilities director for the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, said the grant is incredibly important since ever-present budget issues have kept the center from getting proper air conditioning.
“The use has gone up exponentially and that has pushed the system beyond its capability,” Lal told Currents. “It’s never cool like it’s supposed to be. Now it’s going to be a lot more comfortable for these folks and that’s important since for many of them it’s their one respite during the day to get out of the elements.”
In addition, an energy audit by PG&E found that the center is eligible for discounted rates—an annual saving of about $1,400. Several other Community Action Partnership sites, including the Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter, the Child Care Center and a Head Start building also qualify for these discounted rates.
On Friday (May 4), PG&E’s Natalie Schaefer presented the grant to Dee Torres, homeless services director for the Prado Homeless Day Center, and Biz Steinberg, CEO of Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County. Community Action Partnership staff also described the upgrades during a tour of the center with elected officials.
As part of the event, seven PG&E volunteers spent the day at the center painting the dining hall, children’s playroom and bathroom.