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.