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.

By KAREN VELIE

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.”


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JB Bronson

All of this makes we wonder why CAP-SLO thinks they are the only ones who know how to serve the homeless.


What we can know for sure is that CAP-SLO knows how to take money that is supposed to serve various populations, such as the homeless and whether it is true or not, tell us what a great job they are doing with the money.


ososkid

How exactly would he have received the Navy Cross and a Purple Heart in the years between 1980 and 1988? I was pretty young then, but I’m pretty sure we weren’t involved in the kind of conflicts that you could earn either of those medals.


Cicero

Osos Kid. Where have you been? Our Nation has been at war somewhere in the world ever since North Korea invaded South Korea in 1949.


But the real question is what kind of program collecting public funds and private donations to help the poor punishes a poor person for having a bike or walking down a city street?


eddie

REEDIS A WELL KNOWN LIAR AND SUBSTANCE ABUSER AND LIAR


givemeabreak

You must not know Randy that well because he NEVER served in the military


Ted Slanders

givemeabreak,


Conversly, how do you know this as a fact? Not that it makes a difference to this article, because being a veteran or not, the issues that Prado are setting forth SUCK!


cheseburger

So give us all a break and let his mistake go, then get on the issue of prado!

What trade were you in, did you know about his drug problems in the eighties?

Give me a clue who are you, it is very easy to find out who I am, we have probably worked together. Concrete since 74,,,,, You?


danika

Who among us has never embellished our accomplishments in some way? I don’t agree with what he did but it does not deflect, IMO, the message of this article.


mrcyberdoc

4pm curfew? Are you kidding me. I could see 10pm but it’s still the middle of the day. Do the bureaucrats have any justification for such a stupid law? Sounds like the caretakers of the homeless discourage them from staying in this county by making them jump through hoops for everything.


cheseburger

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


I see a class action and this county paying out through the nose, and this 4:00 P.M. crap of not being on the road? Only in the happiest place in the country, right? What a bunch of Morons running the show.


lastly not only is Randal Reed a Decorated War hero, he was a good friend and fellow concrete worker who built many homes for the rich to now live in and him to now look at. Very Sad in deed!


givemeabreak

Yes Randy was a concrete worker, but sorry Mr cheseburger NEVER in the military let alone a decorated war hero.


cheseburger

Okay, so I believe people and give them the benefit of the doubt unlike others calling everyone liars, since you are right my apoligies to you , but he did loose one of his balls , smashed it working on diablo canyon power plants last big building, he was in the hospital for the pour if I remember correctly, smashed it with the wood handle of a sledge hammer between the concrete forms, that’s a dumb F**K move, but he still get’s the purple heart, bottom line this guy worked hard and got screwwed by all the little penny pinching squenchers who moved here and took away his right to a good living and afforddable housing. Let me ask you for a break , have YOU EVER WORKED a day in your life , besides paper, and the trust fund, managing!

Know it all right?


cheseburger

Also war hero crap or not do you think what the day care center did with this 4 p. m. curfew is right or wrong?????????????????????????????????????????????Ban him or not????


cheseburger

Red in the face businesws owners!


Downtown Bob

I am against these mostly drugged and boozed out people having free reign of the town, however, the rules do seem to be arbitrary and not fair at all.


Seems pretty apparent that they are not supposed to ride or walk on Prado Road from 4-8 is to hide them from the rush our traffic that is stacked on Prado during that time. Reminds me of how during the last couple of DNC conventions they have shipped the homeless in the host cities out of town using bribes and free stuff.


Took a bath in the creek? Nasty. That creek has to be worse than the LA River with all the crap and trash that the homeless have deposited there. Don’t believe me? Check out a video from homeless encampments up in the bay area. http://youtu.be/YXLq93Oi-1U


smartmouth

This is a very typical story out of Prado. Try to keep your dignity while you are homeless and yet still remain clean, respectful and friendly. Impossible. Then try to keep any shred of dignity when you can’t shower, can’t eat (and rarely sleep well). More impossible. I’ve personally witnessed far worse than this particular story.


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MACSOG

So has Cal Coast found a pawn for a fake story. Their is NO RECORDS Mr. Randal ever served in the Navy or received a Navy Cross or Purple Heart. A quick fact check with official Naval and Military Records shows no Mr. Reed getting this awards. Cal Coast should post and prove official records to prove his false allegations which are a felony and i suspect he is just another fake want to be Veteran, we have a great County, State and Federal programs for Veterans especially Veterans of Combat and who received awards such as this bogus story states.