Homeless Assistance

What is the process?

Homeless Assistance Program

CalWORKs Homeless Assistance Program can be requested once an initial CalWORKs application has been completed.  The requestor will complete a CW 42 Homeless Assistance request and will be approved or denied for services no later than the end of the following business day.

Who is eligible?

Only families that meet the eligibility requirements for the CalWORKs program and have less than $100 in liquid assets are eligible for these services.

When and where is this service offered?

CalWORKs can be applied for online at BenefitsCal anytime or in person at the Social Services offices near you.  Offices are open Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Closed on county-observed holidays).

Location, directions and hours of operation

Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

1086 East Grand Avenue
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Tel: (805) 474-2000

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

9630 El Camino Real
Atascadero, CA 93422

Tel: (805) 461-6000

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

600 Quintana Road
Morro Bay , CA 93442

Tel: (805) 772-6405

Fax: (805) 772-6409

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

681 West Tefft Street Suite 1
Nipomo, CA 93444

Tel: (805) 931-1800

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

406 Spring Street
Paso Robles, CA 93446

Tel: (805) 237-3110

Monday - Friday 8-4; 4-5 by appt only

3433 South Higuera
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Tel: (805) 781-1600


No, temporary shelter payments are only for homeless families.

A family is considered homeless when:

  • They lack a fixed and regular nighttime residence
  • They have a primary nighttime residence that is a supervised publicly or privately operated   shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations
  • They are residing in a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodations for human beings
  • They have a need for a housing in a commercial establishment, shelter, publicly-funded transitional housing, or from a person in the business of renting properties who has a history of renting properties.

Temporary shelter payments are available for up to sixteen (16) consecutive days once per year.  They are paid in two 7-day and one 2-day increments. Failure to return on a scheduled payment day will result in a loss of payment for that day and every day after until you come into the office.

Payment for temporary shelter should be paid to an approved provider of housing. These are commercial establishments (motels, hotels, commercial campgrounds), shelters, publicly funded transitional housing or a person in the business of renting properties who has a history of renting property.

Temporary shelter payments are up to $65 per night for a family of four and increase by $15 per night for every additional family member over four.

You will need to bring the following to receive your second and third Temporary Shelter Payments:

  • Proof that you looked for housing and proof that you spent the initial money given on an approved provider of housing will ensure your second and third payments are made out to you.
  • A minimum of one contact with prospective landlords for each day the AU receives temporary shelter benefits shall be required.  This should be tracked on a tracking log that your worker will give you.  You may contact prospective landlords in person, by telephone or in writing.
  • You will be asked to prove that your payments were spent on shelter. If you cannot prove this after the initial payment, future payments will go to a shelter, landlord or others instead of directly to you.

The County can only approve security deposit and/or last month's rental and/or utility payments for up to twice the amount of rent you are obligated to pay.

The requirements for ongoing rent must be at or below 80% of your family's total household income to receive any kind of permanent shelter payment assistance.

Yes, if your family received a "Pay Rent or Quit" notice, you may be able to get payments for up to two (2) months of back rent if that will secure your current housing.

Yes, you may receive both temporary and permanent shelter payments if they are during the same period of homelessness.

The exceptions to the 12-month limit are homelessness due to: domestic violence, physical or mental illness, uninhabitability of the home or homelessness directly caused by a State or Federal declared natural disaster.

Your 12-months period of homelessness begins when you request and are approved for your first CalWORKs Homeless Assistance Payment.