One hundred percent of the proceeds go towards ECHOs housing services in North County

ATASCADERO — Last Saturday, Sept. 25, the community came out to support the Long Walk Home fundraiser for El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO).

The annual fundraiser engages the community to bring attention to homelessness that impacts our local people. The organization serves North County with three safe and secure overnight shelters in Atascadero and Paso Robles. 

“The community amazes us each time; this is our 10th annual long walk home, and just by looking at the numbers and the people, I would guess that 200 to 300 people came out to support the community that we are serving, so it was pretty amazing,” said Wendy Lewis the Executive Director of ECHO.  

Getting through this together, Atascadero

Participants walked from ECHO Atascadero, located on Atascadero Ave., to the Rotunda building in Sunken Gardens off of El Camino Real, where the traditional group photo was taken on the steps of the City Hall. Participants then routed back to ECHO, where volunteers were cooking a take-home BBQ meal. 

Some of the participants included Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno, Atascadero City Council Members Charles Bourbeau, Mark Dariz, and Susan Funk, along with ECHO founders and this year’s Colony Days King and Queen Mike Byrne and Charlotte Byrne among many others.   

“This is our 10th annual, and we had a goal of $40,000, which was was kind of stretching what we used to do [prior to COVID], but we had so many amazing sponsors that came on board, and with the turnout today I think we are going to meet that or even exceed it,” Lewis explained.    

And exceed the goal is precisely what they did with a total of $43,000 raised and over 200 people participating in the walk.  

“The community is just incredible, and if anyone wants to support [ECHO], they can just visit echoselter.org and donate right there,” Lewis explained. 

One hundred percent of the proceeds go towards ECHOs housing and meal programs and supportive services in North County. 

“This was a North County walk to support all of our efforts, our expansion, our recent move to Paso Robles, and heading into winter; it will go to the emergency winter shelter, so today’s support will help our entire organization meet the capacity that we have grown to and really make sure that it all keeps happening at least for a while,” Lewis said.    

A Long Walk Home Sponsors included: 

Founding Sponsor
Howard Products, Inc.

Presenting Sponsor
Pacific Premier Bank

Silver & Bronze Sponsors
Perfect Union
SESLOC Federal Credit Union
Community West Bank
Gerber Automotive
Solarponics
Don & Elaine Witmer
SoCalGas
Atascadero 76
Brezden Pest Control
Stifel Nicolaus
SLO County Board of Supervisors

In-Kind ECHO Partners
Dimes Media
KSBY

ECHO is celebrating 20 years of service this year to San Luis Obispo County. What began as a grass-roots effort in 2001 has turned into a multi-facility full-service organization helping those facing homelessness in our community. Fundamental to the growth and continued service to the community is the support of donors, volunteers, and sponsors. 

For more information, please visit echoshelter.org.