CAPSLO bars alcohol and drug users from services

May 10, 2014

Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) announced plans to stop providing homeless services to those its staff deems to have problems with drugs and alcohol beginning on June 1.

The changes are slated to prohibit about 12 percent of homeless people who currently access services from receiving meals, a place to shower and other services provided through primarily government monies. Upon arrival for services, drug and alcohol tests will be rendered.

Formerly, people who smelled of alcohol were refused a bed at the shelter.

Over the past few years, CAPSLO has focused on building a larger shelter and not moving homeless quickly into housing. The banning of services to those who test positive for drugs or alcohol was proposed as a way to instead focus on helping people transition out of homelessness.

A national effort to reduce homelessness through a plan that promotes rapid rehousing resulted in a 4 percent reduction in overall homelessness from 2012 to 2013, according to a 2013 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report made to Congress. These programs focus on quickly helping homeless find employment, housing, mental health services and connecting them with social service programs.

San Luis Obispo County, with CAPSLO heading homeless services, is ranked third in the nation for the highest percent of homeless who sleep unsheltered and has bucked the national trend of reducing homelessness through rapid rehousing.

In San Luis Obispo County, 90 percent of homeless sleep unsheltered. Nationally, 35 percent of homeless sleep in unsheltered locations, the report says.


28 Comments

  1. pismo20 says:

    Isn’t the idea to reduce homelessness? CAPSLO officials and city employees including the police chief claim about 50 percent of homeless moved here because of the homeless benefits and are not from here. They promote a huge shelter where they can relieve the homeless of their income.

    However, according to the 2013 homeless enumeration report done by CAPSLO, 29 percent moved here as a homeless person, 71 percent became homeless as a county resident.

    Also, about 50 percent are mentally ill according to the report, but the gov here throws all its money at CAPSLO while pulling money from mental health services.

    Wouldn’t the entire community be better off promoting rapid rehousing and mental health services rather than creating cattle for CAPSLO?

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  2. kayaknut says:

    Stop Ms. Torres “paid administrative ” leave first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  3. Jorge Estrada says:

    If substance abuse and mentally ill were removed from CAPSLO’s budget, what percentage would be left?

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  4. freshair says:

    This policy is nothing new. It was in place until 2010 when the homeless enumeration task force discovered many people living in the creeks who were no longer receiving meals at Maxine and Prado due to infractions under Dee’s direction. They returned to the Prado facility since then and resumed taking their daily showers and eating meals.

    Clean and sober visitors agreeably make for a more family friendly atmosphere. You’ll just see more grimy panhandlers around town if they are denied access, that’s all. And if they go to jail they’ll be right back when they get out. The tourists give so generously here! Flying signs is lucrative; therefore, the homeless can be regarded as a positive asset to our local economy.

    The problem of homelessness will continue as long as society doesn’t create more low income housing. Capslo can only house people temporarily. It doesn’t matter if they construct a 200 bed facility or 2000; unless they can process people into housing then their mission “to end homelessness” is futile.

    As long as the $60M nonprofit Capslo takes money from vulnerable Social Security recipients under the guise of Family Ties, housing them indefinitely at the night shelter and failing to return the money to them is criminal.

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