SLO sets financial priorities

January 27, 2013

homelessmeetingSan Luis Obispo City Council members elected to focus on homelessness, neighborhood wellness, infrastructure, a skate park and bike paths at a financial priorities workshop on Saturday.

At the top of the list, city officials chose to partnership with Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) and the county in looking for strategies to eliminate homelessness. These strategies include case management which consists of requiring homeless residence who utilize services to give 70 percent of their income to CAPSLO to manage and helping to finance a CAPSLO homeless service center.

In order to sustain essential services and infrastructure, city officials said they support renewing Measure Y. The half-cent sales tax approved by San Luis Obispo voters in 2006 expires in April 2015.

Opponents of renewing Measure Y contend that too much of the money, which was meant to pay for services such as street maintenance and public safety, was being spent on day-to-day operational costs including employee salaries and benefits.

“The 2013-15 financial plan will link the most important, highest priority goals for the city to achieve with the resources necessary to do so,” city officials said in a press release. “Today, the City Council took its first major step towards shaping the 2013-15 financial plan by identifying its major city goals and there important objectives.”


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I feel really bad, i tend to be very critical of the homeless. I never knew that they have to pay to stay in these shelters. No wonder there are so many living in their vehicles. 70% that is outrageous.

Are you aware: That the 70% is supposed to be set aside to help them get into real housing — that it is not effectively rent? That it only applies to those who are living in RVs/trailers on property provided through CAPSLO — not to those in the actual shelter? That the reason for it is to be sure that they don’t waste it on other things as long as they are getting public assistance from CAPSLO?

I don’t know if that is a wise policy or not. I don’t know for sure that it is honestly carried out — although I think it is. But it amazes me how much the facts get twisted around by speculative rumors spread by people with strong biases.

Oh, and the 70% set-aside is part of a program that is entirely voluntary. No one has to take part in it — unless they want a place to park their RV/trailer where it won’t get ticketed. It is also limited to (I think) about 6 vehicles. The set-aside and some behavioral restrictions were onerous enough to many people that they initially could only find 1 or 2 willing to try it. I don’t know how it is doing now.

DO NOT donate your hard earned money to any agency that is run by the government. The majority of the funds that you donate will never reach the intended use but it will rather fall into a rabbit hole for crony salaries and benefits to compensate the so called “public servants”. Local gov agencies have worked very hard to hide who is really running all these homeless programs. If it isn’t run by a church, then you can bet that CAPSLO has muscled its way in to grab you’re contributions or take advantage of the services you provide for free. You volunteer all the work while they sit back and count the money that they can use to create more public jobs while growing their worthless agency. Sorry but someone had to say it.

“you’re contributions” should read “your contributions”. Apologies.

Thank You. Alot of “agencies” and NPOs bear close scrutiny. I would say give to the person who “knocks on your back doorstep” not to a sea of faces with many agendas. Who could write an expose of all this? Who would care and take action?

In reality, CAPSLO is a part of the formally ACORN group. They are not the orginal ESCLO that may of us supported years ago because it was a local oganization. ECHO is in escrow for the Baptist Church, already have the apartments next door and is part of Loaves and Fishes. They are all tied together (watch the people organizing the fundraising). Have no mistake about CAPSLO, it is a well formed organization, providing services in other counties including Orange, Santa Cruz, San Benito, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Fresno, Kern, Monterey and San Joaquin. Notice one of the cities listed is Santa Cruz (check out their website, these are all listed) and its scam. Send the homeless (via bus) to whatever we want to champion this year to increase our development plan. This is te new government plan of sharing the wealth at all levels. I have stopped contributing to all these self serving organizations. Look at the staffing salaries, benefits, and programs. A case manager makes between $3800 – $5300 a month, full paid health, dental, vision, life and diability insurance, paid vacation/sick leave, 13 paid holidays and retirement. Sounds like a govenment job to me although volunteers do he gunt wor. It is an arm of the Social Services Programs and it has become too much. Big scam for us citizens big bonus for the organzations.

You say that ECHO is part of Loaves and Fishes. So is one group under the umbrella of the other and if so, how so? Am I to understand that ECHO is an outreach derivative of L&F? Second you say that “they are all tied together” and you mention CAPSLO. In reality, you say nothing to clarify whether ECHO in North County is or is not under the control of CAPSLO but rather, you drag in L&F. Are they or aren’t they under CAPSLO ? If you don’t know, then please just say that you don’t know or please clarify your post.

The L & F agenda lists ECHO/Charlotte Byrne on its Board of Directors. Just like that! You do the math… CAPSLO had office space given to them at L & F through 2012 when CAPSLO decided to have only one location in North County and it is now in PASO (more funding was available because of the diversity in Paso). I think to fully clarify this someone should make a written request to ECHO, L & F and CAPSLO and have them define their FULL relationship in writing. This would be the proper manner for full disclosure. You will be surprised at their prompt response (not).

yes, a nice Visio with lots of arrows and dollar signs. where is an investigative reporter when you need one? also how all of these regulated?

Through CAPSLO, silly!

SLOBIRD Your information is incorrect in a couple of very important ways.

The only programs CAPSLO runs outside SLO County are Head Start and State Child Development Programs. CAPSLO is simply a renaming of the old EOC and has expanded its Child services slowly over the years to other counties. It has always been an SLO-based organization. I don’t know where you got the idea it was part of ACORN (unless you think all community non-profits must be part of a socialist conspiracy.)

It is a large organization and it does have salaries and pay scales almost as good as comparably- sized school districts. I don’t know what the top dogs get in terms of salary/benefits, but most middle management people are paid comparable to educators and have similar qualifications — although the retirement plans are not nearly as good. The case managers to which your refer for homeless services have college degrees (sociology, psychology ?) and are similarly paid. But if you notice on the current opening for a “Homeless Services Worker, I, II, III, Substitute”, the pay ranges from $10.22 to $12.27 per hour depending upon qualifications. Read the job description, consider the work situation (including SOME of the people they work with) and tell me if you think that’s an excessive wage. (Substitutes get no benefits.)

Instead of coming up with (or passing along) wild conspiracy theories, why not go work as a volunteer at the Prado Day Center and learn first hand about the truth of the situation. They will be happy to have help — they don’t have a generous budget and take what they can get.

You can debate whether the whole program is worthwhile but please stick to verifiable facts when trying to make specific points. They do rely on public funding (local, state and federal) and do have to deal with sometimes sleazy politicians to get that. But I doubt very much that they have been significantly corrupted by those associations.

Yes I’ve heard mention of this new program, it’s called the squeal like a pig plan.

How about a BALANCED BUDGET? I didn’t see that mentioned anywhere.

City is required to have a balanced budget with a 20% reserve as established by City Charter. That is called an “unspoken” given. Although, in this day and age, everything seems to be on he table OR under it…

CAPSLO is a joke. Someone needs to audit this agency and really reveal what they accomplish for the amount of money that is wasted by Dee Torres within her encampment. I would say that the taxpayer would be shocked at the costs involved to really not helping that many people.

The early estimate is that the numbers will be much lower this year from the enumeration that just took place. Will that mean that the budget for CAPSLO will be reduced?

We the taxpayers need to made aware of were the waste is in government spending is. With Hill, Ashbaugh and Torres connected to CAPSLO this certainly would be a good start.

Frankly, I would like to see an audit of how all the funds are being utilized. Here in North County, the majority of us are under the impression that the shelter is run by ECHO. The shelter personnel even refer to the management as ECHO but I’ve recently learned that ECHO became CAPSLO years ago! Why this FACT has been hidden from us is a big question to my way of thinking. You see, up here in A-Town, the homeless are fed a hot meal every night and the food is purchased by volunteers (out of our own pockets) and prepared in our own homes. There are actually enough rotating groups to provide hot nutritious meals every day and what we don’t purchase ourselves is donated by other groups, like the food for cold breakfast and box lunches. There have been some convoluted wranglings up here with the purchase of the Baptist Church portion of our shelter under the guise of ECHO which is really CAPSLO and nothing seems to be accurately reported? It would be nice to have some clarity on this item. What exactly is CAPSLO involvement in A-Town as they appear to be pulling their “case management” crap on our homeless and taking 70% of their income up here just like in SLO. I spoke with a family that is living in a camp rather than at the shelter because they don’t want people (Dee Torres in presume) taking their money.

WOW Paul, I heard the same thing a couple of weeks ago. I also volunteer at the shelter to prepare and serve hot meals with a group. There are ECHO signs in the shelter that indicate that certain food like the milk is from ECHO and as far as I know, everyone believes that our shelter is ECHO run. Their are massive people volunteering food and money to what they believe is ECHO and not the notorious CAPSLO.

I was so shocked when I heard otherwise that I called our group leader and inquired. She was certain that we were ECHO run and insisted that CAPSLO had nothing to do with our shelter. She even said she knew the people who founded ECHO and gave me their names!

I gave blankets out at the shelter last week after serving dinner and I was surprised when a boy of about 12 came over and said his family needed them. I gave him some and asked if they were sleeping in the shelter at night, he said no because “it costs too much so they sleep in their truck”. I didn’t know what to make of it. Then he ran over to an old truck with a messy looking guy in it (although the kid looked clean and well cared for) and they drove off. Could these rumors really be true?

I think you may have been scamed out of some blankets by the boy and the messing looking guy. Sigh.

If this is true, then the funds that the people have been donating towards the North County Shelter are possibly being funneled into SLO. Apart from all the public donations, as far as I know, Jerry Clay (personally) the ABC Church and even the city of Atascadero has donated land or in the case of the city, considerable money to our local shelter. How much of this is going into salaries and being mismanaged down in SLO by CAPSLO rather than the now defunct ECHO, which appears to have been taken over by Dee Torres and the Adam Hill gangsters.

Just some general information about CAPSLO to limit the wild generalizations being tossed around.

The Maxine Lewis Homeless Shelter, Prado Day Center and a couple of associated assistance programs for the homeless are run by Dee Torres. That comprises a small minority of what CAPSLO does.

CAPSLO runs many Head Start programs throughout the county and in several other California counties as well. They also run a program that helps elderly people on limited fixed incomes reduce expenses by making homes more energy efficient and a couple of other small programs as well.

I am not current enough on what CAPSLO’s Homeless Services program does to defend it completely but please try to separate that program from the other things CAPSLO does in your critiques. If they have any connection to the ECHO program in North County (or similar programs elsewhere), it is either very small or they keep it so quiet most other CAPSLO divisions are unaware of it. I strongly suspect (but can’t guarantee) that the ECHO connection is just a rumor.

Here let us take your money and manage it. OH BOY!!! I hear DISASTER written all over this if they are allowed to manage it.

There are many homeless that qualify for disability and social security. It sounds like CAPSLO requires 70% of this revenue from the homeless who seek warmth, showers and food. They say the funds are to find permanent housing for the homeless but it seems that very few ever find housing and many have been waiting for years. Obviously a person can’t pay more per month for rent than what their check allows so why would CAPSLO continue to take so many months of a homeless person’s income? This is why so many of the homeless live in camps rather than seek service from the shelter to begin with. Something here isn’t right in my opinion. If you don’t have housing for them, then don’t take their money.

so the people that administer the programs have nice salaries?

Sounds like the Ashbaugh plan to me. How much longer is Marx going to sit back and let this guy over run her position as Mayor? Not that she would do any better.