Local man barred from homeless services

June 12, 2012

CORRECTION: Randall Reed said he was not a veteran or a recipient of several medals. He apologized for trying to embellish his past and asked that the story be corrected.


Following the discovery of a San Luis Obispo man’s bicycle on Prado Road after a 4 p.m. curfew, homeless day center staff barred the man from having meals or taking showers at the center.

While San Luis Obispo and homeless services claim they have modeled their programs to end homelessness after Santa Barbara, they are in fact very different, with San Luis Obispo having a long list of rules required to be followed in order to receive services.

As of June 1, San Luis Obispo homeless services started enforcing a variety of additional rules for the homeless to follow including not riding their bikes legally on roadways within an eighth of a mile of the center. It is an issue attorney Stew Jenkins says violates their constitutional rights.

To deprive someone of public benefits when they are doing something perfectly legal is a violation of due process and cruel and unusual punishment, Jenkins said.

SLO City Council members and homeless services officials are backing a variety of strict regulations homeless are required to abide by. Requirements include not riding a bike or walking on Prado Road between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m., and signing away rights against searches of  their persons and vehicles upon demand.

If caught violating one of the center’s off site rules, homeless people are then denied services such as showers, lunches and laundry facilities for varying amounts of time that can lead to permanent ineligibility.

Homeless for the past three years, Randal Reed was recently banned for a week from the Prado Day Center after his bike was spotted on Prado Road in the early evening.

Raised in Cayucos, Reed worked in the construction industry, married, bought a home and adopted a child from Russia. His life began to spiral downward when the company Reed had worked with for more than a decade folded about four years ago, and he was unable to get another job.

For the past three years, he has lived in a tent next to a river in San Luis Obispo. After he was diagnosed with cancer, he stayed in an RV on Prado Road for a short time with a friend. He moved back to the river when Prado Day Center officials said they would not allow those who sleep in vehicles on Prado Road to receive services.

Last week, a business owner offered Reed a job welding at a Pismo Beach hotel. He started his job on Monday, but  his bike was spotted on Prado Road last week after the center’s curfew, while he was getting ready for his first day of work and taking a bath in the creek.

SLO City Council members support the aggressive ticketing of the homeless and the requirement to give up civil rights in order to receive services to keep the city from having “’Open to Homeless’ signs at the gates.”

Councilman Andrew Carter said that because the rule against being on Prado Road is not new, it should be followed to discourage homeless from bothering business owners.

“It would seem to have been designed to discourage loitering before and after Day Center operating hours,” Carter said in an email. “Given the problems that have been taking place on Prado Road, in particular the impact on neighboring properties and businesses, it seems reasonable that the Day Center would want to enforce the rule simply in an effort to be a good neighbor to those properties and businesses.”

In April, attorneys Saro Rizzo and Stew Jenkins filed a lawsuit against the city of San Luis Obispo and the chief of police for discrimination, harassment and the criminalization of homeless people. The attorneys are asking the court to order the city to stop enforcing a city ordinance that prohibits sleeping in vehicles and to pay financial damages and costs on behalf of their homeless clients.

In addition, the attorneys contend the rules currently being enforced could eventually lead to further lawsuits against homeless services and the city.

“An unconstitutional condition occurs when the government requires waiver of a constitutional right as a condition of receiving state benefits,” Jenkins said.

“Cities and counties, which are simply subdivisions of the state, are governed by these same limitations against infringing the individual rights of citizens as a condition of extending a public benefit,” Jenkins said. “A state, county or city government cannot insulate itself from this basic constitutional rule by delegating its governmental functions to a non-profit corporation that the government funds with the public’s money.”


While not a fan of the idea of offering services to the homeless only on their terms I am curious about the rational for the bike rule. So you have to walk your bike the first/last 660′ (1/8 mile) to the services center? However I’m sure there is one. Jenkins and Rizzo haven’t bothered to ask (and the reporter did not ask either) because the bike rule is not the point. You could pick up the phone and ask CAP-SLO why they have the rule, and if you don’t like their rationale hang up and call your county supervisor or council member. Until Higuera Street looks like Market or South State Streets and their fees paid as part of a settlement that the judge appears to have already made up his mind on, Rizzo and Jenkins will not be satisfied. This is a legal masturbatory exercise. Maybe CCN can offer some editorial space for these two geniuses to outline a comprehensive program that will be to their satisfaction.


You do realize that the neighbors of the Prado Center are upset because the area around the center has become a full-time homeless encampment even when the center is closed. The center’s management wants people to leave the area when the center is closed to reduce the complaints it gets from neighbors. The issue with this guy is not whether he road his bike near the center, but whether he was loitering around the center when it was closed.

As a one poster suggested, if you don’t want feral animals hanging around, stop feeding them. Apparently the center is taking this advice.


Hopefully you will never have to “loiter” around a homeless center!!! Now go and take another look at yourself in the mirror! =)


Dee Torres works for CAP-SLO and they have a board of directors that has public meetings, so if you folks are outraged by this and other things going on, I’d suggest you take your complaints directly to CAP-SLO and Biz Steinberg, their director. That board has elected officials on it too.

That said, I don’t see how they can do anything to someone for something they may or may not have done after hours on someone else’s property. Especially just seeing a bicycle? How did they know it was this particular guy’s bike? Or that he himself was down there, he could have been away in someone’s car and just left the bike. Were the cops called?

Where do they think their clients go at night? And where do they expect these poeple to shower, and get cleaned up? The only option is the creek.

Denying someone basic human kindness and decency is not only poor management it’s a sin.

(BTW, there are no rivers in SLO).


What is with the lynch mob on Dee Torres? I don’t know her but I doubt any of you do either. You guys are bigger bullies than Adam Hill.

Some of these comments are just ridiculous, overly simplistic, and black and white. Talking about the “homeless” is like talking about people with “dark hair” or a “last name starting with a vowel.” It’s a diverse bunch. While some are just down on their luck, a good share have made very bad decisions and burned many bridges before they get to the point of needing Prado services. Without rules to keep some order, the truly vulnerable and the children are not safe in using the services and shelters.

There is another side to this story and there are reasons that it makes sense to try and keep these people from congregating in the Prado area all day. (Like promises made to property owners when the center opened? Hope for less resistance from property owners next time around?)

There are clusters of homeless living in canyons all around the city – people who choose not to use services because they don’t like the rules. They naturally set up power structures a la Lord of the Flies. Women are abused. People drink until they exsanguinate in the field. Bloody fights are common.

It’s naive to think all of these people are vulnerable and oppressed. Some of them are flat out dangerous.


“Exsanguinate”, wow, you swallow a dictionary? Very good post, you had me at exsanguinate. And yeah, it’s nasty down in the creek, but free from rules!. I used to be with a group that did free lunches at Mission Plaza 20 years ago, volunteered electrical work 15 years ago to light areas of the shelter on Orcutt Road where fights and child molestation had occurred, and wouldn’t have any part of any of it outside a charity or church today. It’s been institutionalized and professionalized by those receiving and providing services to the “benefit” of both, and it has nothing to do with the national or local economy then or now. Jenkins and Rizzo just want their cut as well.


Agree, Obispan. These attorneys have found their pawns. If they really cared about improving upon the lives of these people, they would be using their energy and education to advocate for badly needed mental health and substance abuse services. This is not to say that all homeless are in need of such, but addressing those issues would go a long way in lessening dangers and costs to the homeless and to the communities. Siphoning more funds from the system — not gonna help.


It is a romantic word for bleed to death.


One can only hope that the illustrious better then you city council members will find themselves homeless and desparate for some diginity one day. You reap what yo sow. ROT IN HELL CITY COUNCIL.

The Gimlet Eye

Welcome to the POLICE STATE.


The problem is Dee Torres and her rules. It looks as if we have an OCD bureaucrat in charge of the homeless shelter. Anyone that would make a little old sickly lady in a wheelchair sleep at night in her chair across the street from the shelter (KCOY) because she didn’t fit the guidelines for shelter has turned from a compassionate helper to a brazen rule and task master. Dee Torres is the problem and she needs to go elsewhere.


If this is true, I’m going to go down to that shelter and pick up Dee Torres by the back of her pantyhose.

Is this true? If it is, that woman needs to go and she needs to GO NOW. Enough said, no more excuses. As for her boyfriend, he is finished without his 3 man majority vote, which is no more.


Don’t forget he has until January, He still have time to get the raises for the APCD, and increases to his girlfriends power and salary done before his buddy Mr Pattersson if shown the door. This is why it should no longer than a month after an election and votes are finilized that those elected take office.


This is the story that KCOY carried on the woman in pink in the wheelchair. http://www.kcoy.com/Global/story.asp?S=18682159 I drove by Prado about 4 days later and she was still on the side of the road.


Dee Torres runs the day center. Whatever you’re talking about overnight doesn’t concern her. That’s a different operation. Facts get in the way of your rant, I know, but that’s no excuse for slinging s—.


Something is wrong with this whole thing. I believe that laws and rules are created to protect people, not punish them. However, of late, this premise seems to have changed in our lifes. The Prado Day Care Center was originally built by the City, Downtown Business Community (to get the homeless out of the downtown area when the Catholic Church was feeding them at the hall and they stayed in the plaza all day), and the local churches. All has worked well for several years (15 that I know of for sure) when it was a :local proble”. Enter the County Government working with the City and everything positive about this Center seems to be turning upside down. These are human beings, they need help, they need services (food, assistance, bathing, laundry, counseling, etc.). Where are the churches that are getting exempt status for all the “charitable” work they are suppose to be doing (you know, Bro Ted, the Beatitudes: clothe the poor, feed the hungry, etc.)… They seem to have disappeared on this BIG social issue except for the Church in Arroyo Grande. We all need to stop the name calling, hatred, dislike, not in my neighborhood attitude and find a solution for everyone on this that is workable, fair and legal. I am that we are all better human beings than this, and while we have differences, we all want a workable, fair and positive solution to this community problem. The City/County needs to find common ground and work from there.



Mr. Holly

Where is the Veteran’s Administration for this guy. Just another example of how our veterans are not being served. Shame on Dee Torres and Adam Hill and the City of San Luis Obispo for endorsing actions like this. I think that Dee Torres and Adam Hill ought to spend a weekend at the Prado Center, down in the creek or have the county rent them an RV for a weekend in San Luis Obispo. I’m sure that after the weekend they would not be happy in the happiest place on earth.


If the “homeless” feel that their “constitutional rights” have been violated because of paperwork they need to sign in order to receive “benefits”, then why NOT just HIT THE ROAD & move on to the next Community for a “hand out”…Rules are made for a reason & should be followed, it’s as simple as that. If these people are looking for “HAND OUTS”, then they need to follow some rules…


“rules are made for reasons”!! OH BS on you. I’ll collect some tax $$ and then get together with a couple of friends and make some rules for you to follow. Rules that other people don’t have to follow, only you have to follow them because you don’t have any money and I have tax payer money (free money) that allows me to bully up on you. If you’re hungry and dirty, you may not ride your bicycle near my house between certain hours or no soap and dinner for you. All others may ride as I have no tax payer money to control them with. RU4Real?

Mr. Holly

“FREE MONEY” that’s the statement that gets my goat. People think that tax money is free money. Taxpayers had to work very hard to earn their money and then the government comes along and takes their hard earned money. The government then declares this to be “FREE MONEY” and then just gives it away that best suits their political needs.

Wouldn’t it be something if all of these government entities had to actually show a positive performance before being overpaid?

The Gimlet Eye



Question? Have you ever gone over the speed limit? Kept a little change overage from the store? Get something for free you shouldn’t have? You’re sanctimonious arguement over something so trivial is ridiculas!


He is not a combat veteran, I checked and the Navy and DOD never heard of him, nor do they have any records of a veteran with his name and DOB ever receiving a purple heart or navy cross. I be just another phony alleged Veteran. We have a very excellent Veterans Service Center, VA center, Combat center, let alone the VA at http://www.va.gov where you go to any computer and can register IF what you say is true, I as a Member of the Armed Services and MOPH,DAV,VVA, VFW, American Legion find no record of him ? I doubt the entire story if Cal Coast would provide and post official records of his alleged service and awards that would help and then all he has to do is go to the VSO and they do all the work for him IF and that is a big IF what the story says is true he would have all the help and benefits available, first he should provide his official DD-214 his 356a, and his VA card, and all that will show the facts. I do NOT believe this story for one minute. He is a fraud, prove me wrong, until them CCN you need to fact check you have lost credibility.


“records of a veteran with his name and DOB”

And you found his DOB where?

CCN post official records of his alleged service? says the anonymous commenter ?

Post your records if you want us to believe you.


He says he was born in 1956, joined the Navy in 1980 all you do is check with public birth records which are here locally since he says he was born in SLO County, then you go to VA’s Navy Cross official sites to verify who has received the Cross and Purple heart, it is CCN and Mr. Reed who says he got these awards it is he and CCN who must prove it, as a Veteran this is all public records when te Navy awards a Navy Cross it is a public event and posted.

Plus we have a VSO here and no records of him are their so the story is this, where are his awards CCN should post his official records one should be very proud for servings your nation and being a recipient of the two of the Nations highest awards. Google Navy Cross it will give you official sites to verify as well as call the DOD, Navy or Pentagon they will give you a list of those who have received the Prestigious Navy Cross. Mr. Reed is NOT one of them, so ask him for his DD-214 and put this to rest, since he says he has it his name has been turned over to the members of the NC to investigate since it is a federal crime to say you have one and do not. It is called the ( Stolen Valor Act) all person who have received this award and the SS, BS,PH, CIB,CMOH are all listed on public and official Military records and sites and no where is he listed, it is up to CCN and him to prove it not me. They said he was it prove it.



From the article: Born in Cayucos in 1956, Reed joined the Navy in 1980 and eventually earned a Navy Cross and a Purple Heart, Reed said.

CCN quotes his claims directly. They are, however, not material to the article at hand.

If Mr. Reed is not being truthful, that would be a crime and just awful. On the other hand, it does not diminish his plight as a homeless individual.

And, perhaps he uses a nickname?


It does diminish his credibility in how he lost his Prado privileges. I doubt that first offenses or innocent mistakes are dealt with harshly.


Dear MACSOG, I did not have to check anything. I grew up with him and have known him my whole life. TRUST ME…..he is NOT a veteran.


Dear MACSOG….You are oh so right. He not in any way shape or form a veteran. I did not even have to check anything as I went to high school with him, worked the trades with him and have known him my entire life.


Who cares, getting back to the POINT of the article…….call him “Bozo” or “Scooby Doo” he is still a human being…I have seen some of the wealthiest, most intellectual, supposed “leaders” of the community spit, piss, litter, smoke and throw their cigarette butts anywhere, frequent strip clubs, drunk in public, drink and drive, and on and on….wonder if they would get ticketed for riding their bicycle down Prado Rd. at 4:15 pm????


Easy answer Mr. Holly. He is NOT a veteran.


The Veterans Service is NOT involved because Randy REED NEVER served in the military.


The Veterans Administration does not get involved with people that PRETEND to be vets. There is you answer PURE and SIMPLE> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


And the paper said this morning that S.L.O. is in the running with some other cities, for happiest place in America. Hmm maybe the judges should look a little harder.


The “rules” have been put in place for a reason….We all have “rules” & laws we must abide by…If the transients are unable or unwilling to abide by a few rules, then they don’t deserve “services”…Just HIT THE ROAD, the sooner the better!


Well I do have to ask, are you for real? Yes I am a believer of rules and laws but the guy double parked his bike? REALLY?? You are going to be that hardcore about that kind of rules? Yea nothing like kicking a guy when he is down.

I rather help these people out, get them back in jobs and off of assistance, rather than being such a tight ass over some dumb rule!!!

The Gimlet Eye

One guy down and out or a thousand. There just statistics, no more alive than the bicycles they ride.


Shouldn’t the key part of the story be the fact the he and others bathe in the creek? With all the enviro BS from SLO regulators, soap and God knows what else going into our creeks is a bigger problem than a bike near their building. This silly “rules above all logic” is precisely why people are fleeing the Progressive / Feel Good side of politics. Stupid will cost you respect and votes Andrew!


This guy is bathing in the creek because he has been denied taking a shower at the shelter. Does it make any sense to deny someone a shower because they were riding their bike on Prado Road? Riding a bicycle is not loitering and to say that a person who seeks food and bathing facilities at the shelter is barred from using Prado Road between certain hours is preposterous. That clearly is a violation of the individuals right to travel upon the roads. Likewise the new parking plan is ridiculous as the shelter requires a % of the persons income to park and sleep? I wonder what would happen to a citizen who was on a road trip and pulled off the freeway to shut his eyes for a few hours?


I didn’t read it like that, Cindy.

What I read is that he lost the shower/service privilege at the time he was bathing in the creek.

Either way, it’s stupid. Or “tough love,” ie, if you want the freebie, you’ve got to follow the rules as set by the givers of the freebie.


You’re right, he was bathing in the creek and that is why he was on Prado after 4PM. BUT- the guy got a job and has now been forced to bath in the creek for a week. He was bathing in the creek in the first place because he was going for a job interview. I know who he is and this is disgusting and unacceptable behavior by the shelter.


PS, I should add that he wasn’t seen bathing in the creek. What the shelter gestapo saw was his bicycle on Prado road and so they denied him services for a week. No food, no shower, no sleeping arrangements. I’ll just stop here before I say a whole lot of things that a Cristian probably shouldn’t say ……………………


let him camp out at your place & shower in your bathroom since you’re such a bleeding heart “do-gooder…


Better yet why don’t we put you on Prado Rd. for a week and see how long you last asshat!!! Better watch your back Mr. Economy might just creep up on you too!!!! ;)

Ted Slanders


First and foremost, if you’re really an “assumed” Christian, at least learn how to spell your fait correctly, okay? It’s an act of shame to our God!

Furthermore, don’t worry in what you really want to say, unless it is prohibited by CCN, because you have the “Forgiveness Doctrine”, remember? (Ps 51:1,9; Isa 38:17; Heb 10:17, John 3:16; Col 2:13, Luke 15:11-32, Neh 9:17; Dan 9:9).

It’s a doctrine where our Christian God, as opposed to the Islamic God, and the former Hebrew God, always gives us grace and forgiveness. In this way, there is really no incentive to be forthright and sinless because we always have this doctrine to fall back upon, praise! It’s one of the perks in being a Christian.

I am really getting tired of “schooling” you at all times, like I had to do in the recent 3 strikes thread as well, but alas, I shall continue for your sake.

You can thank me later.









You my dear are pure comedy!!!


Perhaps, Prado can explain their “reasoning” behind NOT being able to ride the bike after 4PM. I’d like to hear their reason for this “rule”…


cindy, you need to get to the REASON WHY he was denied services…I’m sure there is a valid reason, maybe drug abuse???

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