SLO council gives CAPSLO $250,000 for homeless center
May 21, 2014
By JOSH FRIEDMAN
The San Luis Obispo City Council awarded the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) $250,000 Tuesday to use for the development and construction of a new homeless services center.
The council had previously budgeted the money to aid CAPSLO in its bid to purchase a Prado Road property on which to build the homeless center. But, CAPSLO recently struck a deal with the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Agency, with which it is jointly purchasing the property.
On Tuesday, the council reallocated the funds toward construction of the homeless services center. CAPSLO is also requesting $500,000 from the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors to use toward building the facility.
Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Councilman Dan Carpenter wrote a CalCoastNews opinion piece stating that the city should direct funds toward immediately housing people rather than toward building a holding pen for the homeless. Councilman John Ashbaugh, a CAPSLO board member, responded by co-authoring a letter published by the Tribune saying CAPSLO already has a housing first policy.
Carpenter defended his position Tuesday, saying the city should start building permanent housing and that many homeless people would rather live in a car or on the streets than in a shelter. Carpenter cast the lone dissenting vote against the reallocation of funds.
Ashbaugh said the existing San Luis Obispo homeless shelter is filled to capacity and the new one would be properly sized and well managed.
“It’s a very, very exciting prospect,” Ashbaugh said.