People living outside of the campers near Oceano and 17th Street still haven’t moved

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Last month, people living in campers near Oceano and 17th Street were told by CHP that they had to leave and were given 72 hours’ notice. They have been encouraged to move to a safe parking lot on Kansas Avenue, but as we approach the end of September, campers are still lining the street and neighbors are increasingly upset.

Across the street from the Central Coast House of Worship on Oceano and 17th Street is a community of people living off the campers.

“I love all of these people here. They all have their stories,” said Jorji Coyepperly, a person living on Oceano and 17th Street.

Jorji Coyepperly lives in one of these campers and says that when she fell through hard times she found the Central Coast Worship Center. She says the church helped her as she suffered from domestic violence, sobriety issues, health issues and state withdrawal of her children.

“It’s frustrating. Only because I don’t have a lot of support. I have but I don’t,” Coyepperly said.

Coyepperly has been sober for 2 months and pledges to stay sober in the hopes of being reunited with his children and secure housing.

“I don’t want to tease my daughters. I told them not to come knocking on my door,” Coyepperly said.

Don Yarbro lives in his RV on Oceano and 17th because he is struggling with health issues and is close to the resources he needs. He is friends with the pastor at the church across the street who provides meals and helps others stay sober. He feels that if he moves to the Kansas Avenue lot, he will not have access to the health care he needs and will be far from the church and its many resources.

“Community health is a block and a half down the street. It’s not the best but I can guarantee it’s better than dying,” said Don Yarbro, a person residing on Oceano and 17th Street. .

Neighbor James Santa Cruz says he feels sorry for the people living in campers near his house, but says it is affecting the community. He says the campers try to respect the residents of neighboring neighborhoods and have caused no disturbance other than occasionally placing items like bedspreads outside the campers.

“It looks bad for the community, but at the same time these people are in a difficult position. I feel sorry for them,” said neighbor James Santa Cruz.

Other neighbors are getting impatient.

“We just feel ignored by the county because they allowed this to happen in our neighborhood and did nothing to help us or help them clean it up,” neighbor Richard Garcia said.

Neighbor Richard Garcia says he’s frustrated with the garbage and human waste left in the area. He says he has visitors to his house next door who don’t feel safe because of what’s going on in the area.

“8 months is enough. I understand the COVID delay but we are fed up,” Garcia said.

Coyepperly knows it’s time to go and is ready and willing to move to the Kansas Avenue lot, but says she needs help getting there. Three days ago, agents offered to tow his camper van to the Kansas Avenue parking lot for free. She agreed and says she’s ready to go, but they haven’t towed the vehicle yet.

“It’s definitely time for a change. I want to have a clean, healthy place where my daughters, the rest of them, come of age, they can visit and have a place to feel at home,” Coyepperly said.

The people living in these campers tell me that the state is working with them to move them to the Kansas Avenue lot if they’re willing to go.


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