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

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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.

Ayla Ortiz

A SLO County native, Ayla Ortiz has been homeless for two years. She said she and her mom were living with Ortiz’s grandmother, but when she passed away, the family lost the house. Since then, Ayla and her 3-year-old son have been bouncing between the homes of friends and family, and local shelters. Sometimes, however, there isn’t a place for both of them to stay, so Ayla will take her son to stay with friends overnight, while she sleeps on the street.

“I’ve slept in old, half-burned-down abandoned buildings, and Dumpsters in the rain,” she said.

Ayla is in search of work, as well as housing. She has experience working with computers and as a receptionist, in restaurants, and with kids through Arroyo Grande Parks and Recreation.

Ayla and her son spend most of their days playing in the park. Friends and family let her shower and do laundry at their houses, but Ayla is ready for a home of her own. Her goal is to find a place to stay, a good job, and eventually go back to school in a dental assistant program.

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