Thursday, December 2, 2021     Volume: 31, Issue: 46

Weekly Poll
Do you think the Carrizo Plain should stay a national monument?

Absolutely. The Carrizo is one of the last undeveloped areas of the San Joaquin Valley, a protected habitat for endangered species, and a natural wonder for the public.
Yes, but I don't think it's as clear cut as some think. The Trump Administration should take a look at its status.
The feds should consider reducing the size of the monument.
No. The Carrizo should be privatized. Allow the market to tap into its natural resources.

Vote! | Poll Results

RSS Feeds

Latest News RSS
Current Issue RSS

Special Features
Search or post SLO County food and wine establishments

New Times / Community

The Homeless Project

At New Times, we believe that homelessness is not a problem that can be attacked with money or plans. When we think of homelessness, we don't think of statistics; we think of people. We think of people who've had problems in their lives, and they all have a story to tell. We believe that common sense is the only way we'll ever come close to ending homelessness. This is our common-sense approach, and these are their stories.

Ronald Dieringer

Ronald Dieringer said he was on his own at just five hours old, and spent 18 years bouncing through group homes.

When he legally became an adult, he joined the Navy and was eventually deployed to Iraq for the first Gulf War, he said. His best friend was shot in the head and killed before his eyes, and Dieringer chokes back tears when he recalls the day it happened.

In the time since, Dieringer has traveled around the country, occasionally stopping off on the Central Coast. Most recently, he was living on a few acres in Tennesse when his disability payments cut off and he lost everything but the clothes on his back.

So Dieringer headed for Georgia and hopefully warmer climates.

“First thing you learn when you become homeless, for survival, is go someplace warm,” he said.

But he got stuck in one of the worst winters for the state, and spent his time there panhandling long enough to buy a bus ticket to Santa Barbara, where he spent some time before coming north to San Luis Obispo.

Now he’s living in a tent, subsisting on about $800 a month—minus payments that go to the mothers of his two children, he said—and spending most of his money on a gym membership so he has a place to shower and hygienic products like soap and shampoo.

And when he can, Dieringer hopes to continue his gender reassignment therapy. As a self-identified transgender, Dieringer said he started taking hormones just before he became homeless.

He’s also looking for work. Dieringer said he has experience in construction, mechanics, and business management.

“I’ll take anything,” he said. “At least a stepping stone, a chance.”

He’s also hoping for a trailer where he’ll have a safe place for his dog, Chance, and ideally some form of transportation, even if it’s just a bike with a trailer.

Send offers of assistance to



New Times is publishing profiles of certain individuals as a service to the community, but without making any warranty or representation as to the background or qualifications of any individual profiled herein for employment, residence, or other purposes. The information provided herein is offered on an “as is” basis, and is provided with the understanding that New Times is not engaged in rendering any professional advice or service. In no event shall New Times be liable for any damages whatsoever, whether direct, indirect, general, special, compensatory, consequential, and/or incidental, arising out of or relating to any use of this service, or from communications or meetings between users of this service, including, without limitation, lost profits, bodily injury, emotional stress and/or other damages.

New Times does not guaranty the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information contained in these profiles, and individuals are encouraged to make their own independent evaluation of any statements made herein. New Times is not responsible for the conduct of any individuals who may use this service, and New Times makes no representation or warranties and expressly disclaims any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person providing or using any information offered herein.

If one or more of the provisions contained in this Disclaimer is, for any reason, held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect, then for the maximum extent permitted by law, the invalidity, illegality, or unenforceability will not affect any other provision of this Disclaimer.

« Back to The Homeless Project