CAPSLO exonerates Dee Torres?

March 22, 2013
CAPSLO Executive Director Elizabeth Steinberg

CAPSLO Executive Director Elizabeth Steinberg

Faced with allegations of numerous former homeless service employees, as well as ex-boyfriends of Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo’s Homeless Services Coordinator Dee Torres, CAPSLO officials now say they launched an investigation — and have completely exonerated Torres.

CalCoastNews reported on Monday that a handful of homeless service employees and several of Torres’ ex-boyfriends say she routinely took gift cards intended for the needy and homeless for her own use. Employees and former clients have also said that CAPSLO case management has failed to return money it holds in trust for some of its clients.

At Thursday night’s CAPSLO board meeting during public comment, Donald Dana asked the board to have an outside investigation look into the allegations raised by CalCoastNews.

CAPSLO Board President Frances Coughlin responded saying, “I want to assure everyone here that the leadership team has evaluated the allegations. They have all been proven false. No misuse of gift cards or client funds.”

CAPSLO’s leadership team is comprised of its seven program managers which includes Torres. The team appears not to have called any of the sources listed in CalCoastNews series on homeless services.

 


133 Comments

  1. Debbie2255 says:

    All anyone needs to do to know the truth about Dee Torres and the Homeless Shelter is to go there and stay at the shelter. All you need is your licence and to tell them you have no home. You’ll experience how they treat people there and you’ll know it is a scam very quickly. Dee Torres and her underlings Della and Shawn run the shelter in a way that you will then know for sure it is a completely corrupt organization. It’s nothing short of a detention camp and I saw none of the contributions come to us except for Christmas day and I spent four horrible months there.

    There were a few of us that were of a middle class background who simply were a vicim of the resession needing a place to stay until we became gainfully employed again. We were treated like dirt and easily lost beds to those who were on drugs or alcohol and were homeless lifers. They don’t follow their own rules that people must pass a urine or breathilizer test to have a bed for the night.

    I wondered why that was the case and was quickly educated that CapSlo is about keeping the homeless numbers up so the lifers get a pass on the serious rules whereas the rest of us get hit over the head with minor refractions that made no sense.

    I had to hack it out because I had nowhere else to go and wasn’t about to go camp in the woods like so many others did to get out from under the tyrany at that place. The food was inedable unless vollunteers brought it in. Everything about the place was gross and ex-cons prevailed. Yeah, Dee Torres is a peach allright, her own organization says so. Yeah Right!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • karma2come says:

      Thank you for sharing your story. People need to hear the experiences of people who have used these services. You are the ones who truely know what is going on and how people are treated! I would really encourage you to repost on the most recent article . I’m not sure how many people look at this thread but I know there is still postings being put on the story about how clients are put out for days at a time due to violations. I applaud you for speaking out!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • Debbie2255 says:

        Thanks Karma,

        One of the knives in the backs of the homeless is the word “Client”. That would lead one to believe Capslo had respect for the homeless. They don’t. They treat you disrespectfully most of the time. If you have a legitament complaint they could care less even if it is constructive for the good of all.

        I cannot begin to tell you all the things that are wrong with that place. But I can tell you in one word who is responsible for how it’s run. Her name is Della and she can be down right sadistic towards those at her mercy. Kicking people out for the night just because she has the power to do so with no real reason. If she doesn’t like you that’s good enough for her. She knows that most don’t have the money for a motel which means they have to walk the streets or camp somewhere which are both unsafe to do. Since Dee Torres runs the show she knows this goes on. They both deserve recognision for their wrong doings. These are crimes against humanity plain and simple.

        Fortunately I kept a low profile and got to know the staff who were good people all except for one who’s name is Amber. Though newly hired she aspired to be a Della and it was horrible how she pushed people around. The ones who balked were quickly kicked to the curb. A family of three were put out for two nights and I witnessed the event. They simply disagreed with her in a calm manner but though we are the “Clients” we have no say. It was shocking to know Amber could care less about putting a child of four years of age out on the street. That is some kind of sick!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. ironyman2000 says:

    To quote Sheridan Whiteside’s opening line in The Man Who Came to Dinner
    “I may vomit”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  3. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    Having read through all these comments one thing becomes clear: there are other volunteer groups that help the homeless that are doing a much better job at little or no cost to taxpayers. From the Salvation Army to local churches and synagogues to other organizations mentioned here, there are a lot of services available for food, temporary shelter and so on. We have subsidized low-income housing in all the incorporated cities and there is some market-rate low-cost housing although the supply is limited.

    We are not going to “solve” homelessness here. We are a rural community with limited resources and limited employment opportunities, especially for head-of-household jobs. I think we have reached the tipping point where we say Enough is enough, here is what is available here. If you can’t make it with these resources, and all the social workers, private and public, who will assist you, then perhaps it is time to go back to your family or friends and find a place to live elsewhere.

    My patience is wearing thin. I notice these so-called homeless people are primarily young and white, or middle-aged and white. (I don’t see other races, maybe because they still take care of their own or they work?). Where are their families? Many of us have had a “black sheep” in our family but that’s just part of being a family.

    What we know does not work are multi-million dollar programs whose existence is predicated upon keeping people homeless so the money can keep flowing to keep these jobs going. CAPSLO should give it up and let others do what they are unable to do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

  4. tomsquawk says:

    what’s left to do? alert all the regularatory authorties? assemble a large mass? rally? hold a press conference? peasants with torches and pitchforks?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  5. karma2come says:

    I think for me the most difficult part of this outcome is knowing that, not only are the homeless going to continue to suffer under the poor leadership off Torres, but many people will stop donating, myself included, to Prado and Maxine Lewis. I know I won’t risk my donations being used for Ms Torres’ pleasure! My donations will now be given to The people’s kitchen and Transitional Food and Shelter in Paso Robles. A good friend of mine recommended these programs. These programs are run strictly by volunteers and they account for all donations. I have researched them and found they are a non profit run by volunteers. They provide nightly meals for anyone in need and temporary housing for homeless too I’ll to be in a shelter. Look them up, http://www.nowheretogo.com

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

    • karma2come says:

      CORRECTION- They give temporary housing to homeless too ill to be in a shelter. Auto correct gets me every time!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    • kayaknut says:

      Not to underscore your and everyone person who donates what they can and that these donations may stop or slow, from looking at where CAPSLO gets the lions share of their money, it seems they care little for these personal donations. They want to keep the big money following from the cities and countys, via taxpayer money, and any reduction if that would be a concern for them, but the elected officals who control that money seem unconcerned about any issues brought forth by the homeless or others. Yes, if personal donations slow or stop Ms Torres may have to start brown bagging it for lunch and her family and friends may have to cook dinners at home, and yes if you received a christmas gift in previous years from Ms Torres it may be much less this year, but as long as our elected officials keep their heads in the sand and continue to let the taxpayer’s money flow, CAPSLO will stay happy.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  6. NuVo says:

    I was surprised and a little disappointed that very few of you showed up for the CAPSLO Board Meeting. I was even more disappointed that Karen and Josh only stayed for 20 minutes of a 3 hour meeting. Karen and Josh missed approximately 45 minutes dedicated to Homeless Services past, current and ongoing investigation, findings, auditing information. I am beginning to question that CCN or commenter’s here are really looking to or open to find out information from all sides. Don Dana and I had a very different perspective coming out of that board meeting Thursday night.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 17

    • karma2come says:

      Don’t be so quick to judge why more people didn’t turn out for the meeting. I would have gone but I was working and as much as I would have liked to go, I have to support my family so I don’t end up in the corrupt services of Ms Torres! Just because people post comments and don’t show doesn’t mean they don’t care, it means they have lives, posting can be done in a matter of seconds from your phone or when you have a free minute. Besides from the looks of it, it would have been fruitless to attend. CAPSLO had their mind made up long before the meeting started! Go to the article re Dee taking items, read the post from Scorpio, a former client, it’s a pretty clear picture of how things are from a clients experience. I say keep the post coming because the more postings the more exposure and maybe someone else like Scorpio will come out.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 10

      • Homer says:

        In other words, we don’t have time to really find out what’s going on. We’d rather gobble up what’s spoon-fed to us on this site and pretend to know without letting anyone else’s knowledge get in the way.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 8

        • karma2come says:

          No that isn’t what I said! I don’t need to be spoon fed anything. It’s a matter of educating myself as to the program and operations. In doing so I’ve found that the allegations against Ms Torres are supported by many homeless. Talk to them when you see them on the streets at night, ask them why they aren’t at the shelter or what kind of services they get from Prado day Center, I think those are the ones we need to believe! Not the staff clearing themselves of wrong doing! Spend some time outside of circle K, and talk to these people. You might get a whole new perspective on what’s going on! Oh and quit accusing and assuming you are the holder of all the information! Just because we comment and didn’t attend the meeting, don’t assume we don’t care to get the facts! I can read. The minutes online, but if you want to learn, learn from those who live it.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

          • MaryMalone says:

            K2C, you don’t need to explain yourself to the likes of NuVo and Homer, whose agenda is clearly to enable CAPSLO to continue to victimized the homeless clients they should be serving.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

            • MaryMalone says:

              P.S. Those who have facilitiated Dee Torres and the rest of CAPSLO’s leadership in victimizing CAPSLO’s clients, you can just can the smug “you-can’t-touch-me” act.

              Robert Rizzo, ex-mayor of the City of Bell, thought the same thing, and he got away with it for 17 years. But things change when the press does its job and shines the light on corruption.

              Quoting the 3/23/2013 LATimes article, “Bell Corruption Case Now Turns to Robert Rizzo,” re the City of Bell criminal corruption trials:

              Sometime in the coming months, Rizzo, who for 17 years served as Bell’s chief administrative officer, will stand trial on 69 felony counts…Rizzo is accused of falsifying public records, perjury, conspiracy, misappropriating public funds and conflict of interest

              That’s the SHORT list (and doesn’t that sound exactly like a list of what Torres and the rest of CAPSLO’s leadership could be charged with?).

              Rizzo is charged with 69 felony accounts. He was able to harm the residents of the city of bell by his self-serving, gluttonous leadership for 17 years before the PRESS brought him down.

              And for those who have, and continue to, enable CAPSLO’s leadership in their corruption, fraud and coverup, you will like this part of the article, as well:

              “Rizzo will go on trial with Angela Spaccia, his former assistant, who faces 13 felony counts.”

              THAT is what you face in your future…your only defense will be to blame your co-conspirator.

              For those who have run the corruption scam at CAPSLO, and are now facing the light of day, you should take note of this gem in the article:

              >i> “She [Angela Spaccia] is employing a strategy similar to the council members': Blame Rizzo.”

              That’s it. That’s all the co-conspirators have for defense. That sounds to me like decades of prison time.

              Once these CAPSLO corruption facilitators realize they are going to be charged along with Dee Torres and the rest of CAPSLO’s thieves, and will accompany Torres in her orange-jumpsuit frog march into the courthouse, in front of the press, these enablers will turn on the likes of Torres and Biz Steinberg in a heartbeat.

              That’s when Torres, Steinberg and the rest of the CAPSLO thieves will start to contemplate what a future of incarceration in prison really means.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

            • Homer says:

              That is where you, and so many others who post comments, are wrong. Feel free to review every post I’ve made. I have no agenda when it comes to CAPSLO. Dee Torres may be up to her eyeballs in guilt. I have no idea. I have never met her. I don’t pretend to know any facts about this issue. What I’ve consistently done is call to task people who leap to conclusions without knowing facts. It’s the scourge of the internet. That, and vile personal attacks that you would never say to someone’s face. And, no, what someone reports isn’t a fact. I question the motives of people, not whether this or that allegation is true. I question why a reporter would not report that someone making a serious allegation against someone else is the subject of a restraining order involving that person. I question the logic of “if they are not guilty, why don’t they just show us why.” It’s never incumbent upon the subject of allegations to prove their innocence. I question why people on this blog, and others, take a breath, step back, and ask themselves, “Do I really know what I’m talking about? Or am I just believing as fact everything I want to be true?”

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

        • karma2come says:

          Hahaha, I wonder how many email addresses Ms Torres and Adam Hill have?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

        • MaryMalone says:

          LOL, our county has come to a very sorry state, indeed, when citizens outraged over the oozing, fetid fraud and corruption at CAPSLO are criticized for not attending a meeting.

          It is clear that posters like Homer and NuVo have a vested interest in keeping CAPSLO’s homeless clients and their supporters beaten down and victims of the chancreous corruption gripping CAPSLO.

          The sitting at the head of CAPSLO, Frances Coughlin, offered nothing but the equivalent of “move along, there’s nothing to see here.” Coughlin’s weakness of character and/or dependence on the CAPSLO gravy train of fraud, was nothing more but enabling those at CAPSLO whose behavior has done so much harm to CAPSLO’s clients.

          Not everybody wants to watch SLO County’s answer to the City of Bell’s pervasive corruption, greed and graft at work.

          We get it. CAPSLO’s bloated leadership believes it is entitled to victimize its homeless clients so they can live the high life they could not earn for themselves by honest endeavors.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

    • Karen Velie says:

      Josh and I were there for an hour. Public comment for the beginning of the meeting was over. When Debbie Arnold tried to respond to questions raised by a public commenter about homeless services, CAPLO’s board president said we do not respond to public comment. Nowhere on the agenda was this homeless discussion listed. The topic had been put to rest for more than 30 minutes when we left. Most of the remaining agenda had nothing to do with homeless services.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 11

      • MaryMalone says:

        CAPSLO’s filth has only one method for dealing with its cesspool of corruption being outed–attack the messenger.

        If you would have stayed there for the entire meeting, you would be criticized for wasting your time. If you would have left 10 minutes later, you would have been criticized for something else.

        Their only defense is to attack the messenger, and that means CCN is doing a danged fine job at nailing CAPSLO’s leadership to the wall.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

    • MaryMalone says:

      Unlike the CAPSLO board members, we don’t get paid for attending, we don’t get a catered meal, and we don’t get to use gift cards which were contributed for use by CAPSLO’s clients.

      Some of us have to make a living by honest means, in other words.

      Your mileage may vary.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

  7. SloHeadInTheSand says:

    “With the expertise of Jim Famalette, who served as CEO of Gottschalk’s”… We all know how that worked out…total bankruptcy and liquidation in 2009!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3

    • MaryMalone says:

      I wonder how much corruption and graft it took to bring down Gottschalks?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  8. standup says:

    This is complete bs. We have judges covering for drunk cops, we city managers covering for sexually assaulting police chiefs, we have drug task force managers sticking their nose up at Prop 215 and the list goes on. We need to demand an outside investigation. If their is coverup, all the sobs need to go. I trust Dee Torres as far as I could kick her.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 3

    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Agreed, but where is this “outside” part of the investigation?

      What “outsiders” would bother or care to solve the local problems of SLO town?

      Take the SEC. In many high profile cases, it is almost impossible to get them to move.

      Why?

      Because there are high stakes involved, the perpetrator is paying them off, the tentacles of crime reach into high and very sensitive areas which the SEC is loath to disturb or may even be connected with, and last but not least, the victims have no standing as wealthy insiders, no political clout., and no other way of seeking justice but going public.

      Face it, standup. The only way that SLO town folks are going to get satisfaction here is to torture them with public agitation and protest so that they will HAVE to take action. There must be no peace and quiet as long as these crimes are allowed to go on.

      As Mises wrote,

      “Governments become liberal* only when forced to by the citizens.”
      Omnipotent Government, p. 58

      Even then, success will probably only amount to what I call a political “human sacrifice.”

      In other words, the insiders will typically meet and decide on a patsy and then throw him to the wolves, hoping that the investigators will have had enough and things will quiet down.

      In politics,it pays to know the ropes:

      > Nothing is on the level.
      > Nothing is what it appears to be.
      > Everything is a deal.
      > No deal is too small.

      The crooks who are more deeply ensconced in the bureaucracy will, of course, be MUCH harder to get at. I don’t think SLO town folks are up to that, but I could be wrong, and hope that I am wrong. The sad reality is that the roots of crime in SLO town (and County) probably go too deep for that to happen.

      If it did happen, try to envision what life would be like in SLO town. Would it be getter or worse?

      I wonder if that would be such a bad thing? Remember the City of Bell? How about the City of Boston, MA with the Bulger brothers (Whitey just got arrested a few of months ago after 16 years on the lam)?

      In any case, you need not feel lonely, SLO town folks. City machines are steeped in organized crime all over the country. That organized crime is so interconnected at every level of government and society that all the “outside help” in the world probably would not be able to root it all out, or even make a significant dent in it.

      In fact, the dirty little secret is that THERE IS NO “outside help.”

      In the end, there are only individual people who think and act, and do have choices and options about what they do, what they consume, what they buy, and whom they vote for.

      If these individuals have the right information at their disposal and are determined, they CAN drive out a lot of the troublemakers and make life better. Boycotting and bad publicity can go a long way toward making that happen. Cal Coast News has been a great help in this regard.

      But the cancer is deep, so it might take radical surgery to do it. Not many people are ready for that.

      SLO town folks may have to force their local government to retract, to give up jurisdiction over some things, to get smaller and certainly less intrusive. CAPSLO and Homeless Services would be as good a place to start as any.

      Correspondingly, folks will have to take more responsibility for their own lives. There’s no way around that if they want to be free.

      *Note: Mises is NOT referring to “liberalism” as exemplified by the modern Democratic Party since the days of FDR and his “New Deal.” The Liberalism of Mises consists of a society in which the following conditions hold:

      “All that good government can do to improve the material well-being of the masses is to establish and to preserve an institutional setting in which there are no obstacles to the progressive accumulation of new capital and its utilization for the improvement of technical methods of production.”

      Planning for Freedom, p. 6

      “Government ought to protect the individuals within the country against the violent and fraudulent attacks of gangsters, and it should defend the country against foreign enemies.”

      Economic Policy, p. 37

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  9. ReelView says:

    It’s really positively and outragesley disgusting! Of course CAPSLO “exoncerates” Dee Torres! Duh! Does CAPSLO really think that the people of this community are that stupid? Obviously! But everything is not all said and done yet! As for the City Government, they think the people here in Happy Town are stupid too. But then again, that’s what the people wanted! As I said, all is not said and done yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

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