Homeless protest planned for Wednesday

September 5, 2011

A local activist is organizing a protest Wednesday morning, Sept. 7, on behalf of homeless people in San Luis Obispo County.

Becky Jorgeson of the recently-formed Homeless Project says the protest is planned for 8 a.m. on the steps of the San Luis Obispo County courthouse on Monterey St.

Speakers have not been announced, but according to Jorgeson, the protest focuses on concerns over how local homeless people are being treated. Specific issues include the alleged failure of county government to provide sufficient housing for the indigent, coupled with Judge Charles Crandall’s recent controversial decision to oust several members of the Sunny Acres sober living facility in San Luis Obispo.

Jorgeson is also going public with accusations this week that staff members at both the Prado Road Day Center and the Maxine Lewis Overnight Shelter have shown “a general lack of respect” for homeless people. Jorgeson, who volunteered at Sunny Acres for three years, claims that several homeless people were “kicked out” of the two San Luis Obispo shelters.

The Homeless Project has been working with New Times for the last two months, providing weekly profiles of homeless people in need of work or housing. Jorgeson, who is retired from Cal Poly, has clashed with Dee Torres of CAPSLO, who manages the Prado Road facility, by pushing for more aggressive government support of homeless people.

“I’m hopeful of getting change around here for our homeless, one way or another,” Jorgeson said.



I’m more concerned about the “general lack of respect” the homeless have for our community. Perhaps if they would stop urinating on store fronts and desist with the aggressive pan handling and rude comments to passersby, people would be more willing to help them out.


Just recently at Prado Liquor I waited and walked a lady to her car because the aggressive homeless seemed pretty intent on hitting her up a second time for “any loose change”. It wasn’t my most popular thing to do but, we’ve created a haven for the addicts and alcoholics to malinger and tap the generously abundant church’s and free hand-outs that are everywhere.

Sure sorry your church got into a bad situation but, that’s where long-range planning comes in. You don’t appoint sunday school teachers with any expectation that they’ll last forever, right? I hope your situation works out well for you.

My personal thoughts would be some very stringant qualifications for the most needy of them and the rest need to keep movin’ on out of town.


Then again, there was a woman outside Spencer’s here in SLO who asked if I could spare any money – I don’t carry cash and told her, but I added, “Can I get you anything from the store while I’m shopping?” – she replied, “a sandwich or something would be great.”

My boys and I bought her a sandwich and a Sprecher’s Orange Dream soda (it’s just soooo good!) 16oz. bottle. Total cost, about $4… she thanked me, took the sandwich, soda and napkins and off she went.

So sometimes there are people who just need a little something.


I read somewhere that the City of Santa Barbara buys their homeless population bus tickets to San Luis Obispo.


Build it and they shall come…


I kinda stopped caring this summer after I bought 2 burgers & a large soda for a beggar in Paso. He grabbed ’em, smirked, complained then shuffled off…no thank you or anything. I guess he didn’t like pickles or somethin’… LOL!

As was mentioned, these people need a “hand up” not a handout. Get ’em clean & sober and ready to WORK and then society will be more apt to help them. But when the 20-somethings are loitering in public parks, spending their lazy days complaining, smoking, eating and sleeping…it’s hard to feel much sympathy for them.


I know there are many who will turn mean when cash is removed from any offer, but please do not let that get you down, as there are some who would actually like any help (food, clothing, etc.).

I almost NEVER give money, rather I offer to buy them a meal or diapers or whatever. Sometimes that’s all that was really wanted; but you’re right, sometimes the person becomes agitated. That really sucks for the truly down-trodden as well as any would-be temporary benefactors.


Maybe the homeless are just friendlier in SLO, rOy? LOL No–seriously, I get your point. But I also had a guy approach me in a grocery store parking lot. (I guess I look like easy prey?) He had the familiar sob story–out of gas, sick wife, kids to support, etc–and asked for five bucks. I said I didn’t have money but I started to rustle up some cans of food to give him from my grocery bags. Out of curiosity (and trying to test him) I asked how old his kids were. Guess what…he “couldn’t remember.” Um…yeah. So I gave him 2 cans of Campbells soup to share with his “mystery kids” and, of course, he too smirked and shuffled off.


Rubbish, they’re street based drug addicts.


When I read the title of the article, I got excited. As someone who is tired of dealing with street kids who wont work or drug addicted lowlifes who frighten children in the park, I was on board to attend the protest.

Then I read it was a “pro- homeless” protest. Never mind.


How sad! Let’s hope you stay on top of your game and don’t find yourself in a tough position with people with attitudes like yours. Lost your compassion have you? Good luck with that.


No JMS…. my compassion is in tact.

Although I continue to volunteer for a variety of causes; I no longer give my time to the “homeless.” As I’ve stated before, I became disillusioned by the overwhelming majority of the people that were homeless by choice. We’re talking able bodied people who either because of acute substance abuse or by sheer laziness just did not want to work and contribute to society. Sadly, some of these people had children. They are the true victims.

I’m not saying I never saw people who just needed a temporary boost; they were just in the minority. I still give money at Christmas to Loaves & Fishes; I’m not heartless. I’ve just seen the reality of most of the so called homeless and wonder why no one wants to acknowledge that it exists.


Thank you mentioning the true victims–the children. If someone feels moved to help the homeless, help the KIDS. Donate school supplies, winter coats, blankets, and PJ’s to the KIDS at the shelters. Don’t give an adult panhandler any money; it’s like giving them cigarettes or booze or drugs.


Does anyone know exactly what Ms. Jorgeson is protesting?


Becky Jorgeson, please take a page from John Salisbury’s book and do something positive and proactive in your endeavors.



My impression is that John Salisbury is offering a very temporary job. And it seemed to me that the applicant must furnish their own transportation.


I suppose he could just mail them checks, care of Mitchell Park.

¿Or bring the grapes to the park so they can pick them?

Work is hard. For that matter, life is hard.

I appreciate Salisbury’s method of solving both unemployment issues and his harvest issues. i can’t seem to appreciate Jorgeson’s method of doing what I do not know.


Ride share


Does your job pick you up for work? If so, where do you work so I can apply?


The homeless don’t need more handouts, they need a hand up. Just giving them free food, lodging and medical care only creates more homeless.

If homeless want respect they must earn it! those that earn it won’t be homeless for long.


I don’t think the issue is that they want more free housing and free food. I think the issue is when they actually DO find some temporary shelter like Sunny Acres, it’s taken away by code nazis of this city/county.


Jorgeson should use her energy to raise private funds and take this issue to the local churches since the government is broke (already providing a series of free services – feeding, housing, medicating, counselling, shelters etc.). We can only provide so much. I’ve always felt we should open up our military camps and put these folks in a structured productive enviroment. Just look at how sucessful Dan has been because he kept the government, politicians, organized businesses, and ministeries out of it. His reward, shut him down!


“Jorgeson should use her energy to raise private funds and take this issue to the local churches since the government is broke (already providing a series of free services – feeding, housing, medicating, counselling, shelters etc.).”

This is exactly what DeVaul “should have done” as well. Get private donations on board and set up the scenario properly, without breaking the law or ignoring health and safety regulations. It is done everywhere across the nation by many churches and private organizations, with great success. If DeVaul had tried to work with the county(he had more than 20 years to do so) and corrected the flagrant safety and health conditions, he would have been welcomed with open arms. The county and the city of SLO would like nothing more than a private enterprise to take the homeless off their hands and move them outside the city.

The use of CampBob and FHL has been proposed in the past, but disregarded because “it is too far away” and the military does not see housing the homeless as part of the military bases SOP.

fat chance

How about a one way ticket out of town…..

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