SESLOC Spotlight highlights local organizations that make the Central Coast community so incredible.
Hospice of San Luis Obispo County provides unique and essential support services for community members facing a life-limiting illness, end of life, or grief. Shannon McOuat, Executive Director, explains how community volunteers provide support:
Hospice of San Luis Obispo County
Serving the Central Coast since: 1977
How many employees? 8 (4 full time/4 part time)
How many volunteers? 200
What’s your mission? Hospice of San Luis Obispo County is an incorporated 501(c)3 volunteer hospice serving San Luis Obispo County residents who are facing a life-limiting illness, end of life, or grief. We recognize death as a natural and personal event. In this spirit, we support the community in working with those near the end of life and the people who love them by providing in-home support, caregiver respite, grief counseling, support groups, community response, and education. All services are offered free of chard. We envision a community that recognizes death as a part of life; where dying and grieving as embraced as natural; where all have access to support services without charge; where no one dies or is left to grieve without comfort.
What’s unique about Hospice of San Luis Obispo County? Hospice of San Luis Obispo County is one of only 23 non-medical hospices left in our country. Our community is incredibly lucky to have two types of hospices, medical and non-medical, who can collaborate together to offer a full spectrum of support.
Hospice care is about living. It is not only about dying and is not just for when there’s nothing more to be done. Hospice is not a place but high-quality care that enables patients and families to focus on living as fully as possible despite a life-limiting illness. Beyond providing physical treatment, hospice attends to the patient’s emotional, spiritual and family needs, and provides family services like respite care and bereavement counseling.
Hospice SLO County provide free services to all clients; offers services in partnership with all health care agencies in the community and is not exclusive to any one; provides an organized program of bereavement care to the survivors of clients served, and to any others in the community who are dealing with grief issues and request assistance regardless of when or how the death occurred; and provides community education regarding dying, death, grief, and end of life.
What do you attribute to your success? Our community. Hospice of SLO County was founded in 1977 as a nonprofit, all-volunteer hospice based on the intensive social model that started in the 1960’s as a grassroots movement. We depend 100% on community donations, fundraising events, grants, bequests and planned gifts, and the time and talent to serve thousands of individuals annually. We would not still be here without the support of our community through volunteer and financial support.
What advice would you give someone interested in supporting your mission? Please visit our website to learn more about volunteering or donating to support our mission. During the pandemic we are offering volunteer trainings via Zoom and our Development Director welcomes opportunities to connect with potential donors.