Remember the homeless fight several weeks in Atascadero? Homeless people swinging knives and a baseball bat at one another. The first officer on the scene that day was the Atascadero police chief, Bob Masterson. Chief Masterson says these were homeless people who were familiar to police. The cops knew all their names.
Masterson says Atascadero police are doing what they can to help the homeless abide by the law. He says people should not give money to homeless. Masterson says, “Most use the cash they get for drugs and alcohol. People would be doing a greater service giving to agencies which are helping the homeless, like ECHO.”
ECHO is the acronym for El Camino Homeless Organization which now has shelters in Atascadero and Paso Robles. ECHO does not allow drug and alcohol abuse at their shelters, which is one reason many homeless prefer living in the creek beds of Atascadero of the Salinas river bed.
Tomorrow, chief Masterson talks about long term solutions to homelessness locally and around the state.