San Luis Obispo’s homeless barred from services

April 19, 2013


Scores of homeless, barred from Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo’s homeless services, spend their days begging for food, looking for shelter and avoiding city police who target them.

CAPSLO receives more than $60 million in government funding and support each year to provide services to those in need, including San Luis Obispo’s homeless population. But, the homeless are required to follow a set of rules imposed under the tenure of Dee Torres, homeless services coordinator. If the homeless don’t follow the rules, they are suspended or barred from receiving help.

Peggy Fowler, a former 20-year employee CAPSO’s homeless services, says the refusal to provide food to homeless barred from services is not only cruel, but also increases the likelihood someone will resort to stealing in order to eat.

“Suspensions from homeless services are for violation of the rules which include throwing a cigarette butt on the ground or arriving five minutes early,” Fowler said. “I felt that making someone sleep in the dirt for failing to do a chore is wrong.”

The rules include a ban on giving food to homeless persons who have been suspended from the program, entering the Prado Day Center through the driveway on foot and failing to control the physical tics and other behaviors resulting from medical conditions or mental illnesses.

If a homeless person fails to follow Torres’ rules, she bars them from receiving meals and a place to sleep and shower, according to the program’s rules and dozens of citations CCN staff have viewed. Many of those barred are refused services for months or years because they are unable to make it through a laborious readmission process Torres has put into place, Fowler said.

“The individuals who are homeless have priorities like, ‘where can I go to the bathroom,’ ” Fowler said. “We are withholding services that are paid for by both the federal government and the local community. Their whole system and lack of recourse is not right. The punishment of refusing food and shelter is pretty severe considering the rules broken.”

Erica Merchado has received several suspensions from CAPSLO’s homeless services, despite having a terminal illness, former 30-year employee Estella Bonds said.

Merchado, 32, has Huntington’s disease, which causes her arms to make constant involuntary movements. She was diagnosed with Huntington’s when she was 21 and entered CAPSLO’s homeless services two years later, Merchado said. Merchado utilized the services for more than five years.

CAPSLO last suspended Merchado about three years ago for taking her lunch out of the Prado Day Center to the bus stop on Prado Road, Merchado said. Staff also suspended her for taking food from the day center to a suspended homeless client, Bonds said.

Merchado now sleeps under the Madonna Bridge and spends much of her day sitting outside Circle K on South Higuera Street with other homeless who beg for food.

One rule strictly enforced by CAPSLO prohibits the homeless from coming within an eighth of a mile, or 660 feet, of the Prado Day Center between 4 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. and within an eighth of a mile of the Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter between 7:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. Torres enforces the policy because her employees are afraid of the homeless, so she wants the homeless out of the area when employees are coming and going, she said.

If a staff member sees a homeless person, or even property belonging to a homeless person in the restricted area during those hours, it results in a suspension from services, according to CAPSLO rules. While suspended from services, the homeless can still incur more penalties. Many short suspensions compound into longtime bans, said Joette Sunshine, a former employee of homeless services who worked there for four years.

When a homeless person is suspended from services, that person is only allowed to enter the eighth of a mile zone surrounding both the day center and night shelter during one 15-minute time slot each day. If a homeless client wants obtain a print out of violations committed or acquire an application to re-enter services, the person must get in and out of the day center restricted area between 11:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. and the night shelter restricted area between 7:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Failure to do so triggers an additional 30-day suspension.

Michael Pryor, an out-of-work computer technician and a former singer, received a 30-day suspension for cheating CAPSLO’s lottery system in an attempt to secure a bed in the shelter on a rainy night. Pryor used a ticket from an earlier night that someone had given him, and CAPSLO staff caught him.

Though Pryor received only a 30-day suspension, he is now suspended from services for 270 days because CAPSLO employees have spotted him within an eighth of a mile of the day center and night shelter outside of the 15-minute time slots, Pryor said.

Pryor sleeps outside. One day, he went to the shelter on a cold, rainy night to ask staff for a blanket. CAPSLO staff refused him a blanket and instead gave him an additional 30-day suspension for entering the restricted area.

Tiamoyo Peterson quit working for CAPSLO’s homeless services several years ago after taking her concerns of the treatment of the homeless to CAPLO’s CEO Elizabeth Steinberg, Peterson said.

Peterson, who has two masters degrees and a doctorate in social psychology, said she became concerned when Torres kicked out a homeless woman in her late 20s because the client was not always able to control her schizophrenia and would be obnoxious at times.

“It was (CAPSLO’s) position that Dee had a valid point of view and I shouldn’t have contradicted her,” Peterson said. “In this instance, the client’s behavior was obnoxious not dangerous. Dee believes that not only can a schizophrenic control their behavior, but that they should be punished when they cannot. Punishment for mental illness is inappropriate.”

Steinberg promoted Torres to the top position in homeless services around the same time a countywide Homeless Services Oversight Council was created.

In 2008, Torres’ boyfriend San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill became the founding chair of the Homeless Services Oversight Council, a group with a plan to end homelessness in 10 years by promoting a 200-bed shelter to be managed by Torres. Those staying at the shelter are to be required to give 50 to 70 percent of their income to case management allegedly to be used to get them into housing.

Several law enforcement agencies are looking into allegations that those managing the required savings accounts have been misappropriating the funds.

Together with San Luis Obispo City Councilman John Ashbaugh, Hill and Torres have worked to have the city and the police increase enforcement against homeless who refuse to enter case management.

Both Ashbaugh and Hill have regularly voted to provide government funding to CAPSLO. Ashbaugh sits on the CAPSLO board of directors and Hill is engaged to Torres but both men say there is no conflict of interest.

Earlier this year, the San Luis Obispo City Council voted to have police increase ticketing of homeless who do not participate in case management.

The SLO Downtown Association recently asked those in favor of supporting CAPSLO’s homeless services’ programs and who want the city to dedicate two police officers to focus on transients downtown to sign an online petition.

The city’s police department recently chose to implement a Community Action Team (CAT), composed of two officers who focus on transients in San Luis Obispo. Several local law enforcement personnel who say it is not constitutional to focus on a group of people and not their actions are referring to CAT as “Cops Against Transients.”

San Luis Obispo Chief of Police Steve Gesell says his department neither categorizes people, nor enforces the law based on status.

“We are trying to enforce the law equally but it would be foolish of us not to understand the dynamic of the homeless transient population,” Gesell said.

In 2012, San Luis Obispo police officers cited 605 people for breaking Penal Code 647(e) which makes it a misdemeanor to “lodge in any building, structure, vehicle or place, whether public or private, without the permission of the owner or the person entitled to the possession or in control of it.” In the rest of the county, only one person was cited for breaking Penal Code 647(e) in 2012, according to records requests received from all community and county law enforcement agencies.

Gesell says his department is utilizing 647(e) as a way to combat the environmental impact human waste from homeless campers has on the community. He refers to those homeless not utilizing CAPSLO’s services as program resistant.

SLO police officers are giving 647(e) citations to homeless found sleeping in parks, on benches or anywhere throughout the city. They also routinely roust homeless, including Merchado, who sit outside Circle K, even though customers of the convenience store and the adjacent Subway sandwich shop frequently buy them food.

On April 11, former CAPSLO employee Estella Bonds visited Merchado outside Circle K, and when a police officer arrived he not only scolded Merchado, but Bonds too.

Officer Eric Lincoln ordered Bonds to leave and told Merchado, “Come on, Erica. You know better.”

“If they’re running a homeless shelter, they’re not going to make any money,” Lincoln said. “They call. I come — kind of like the Domino’s Pizza Guy.”

Bonds told Officer Lincoln that she was not homeless and he stopped ordering her to leave the area.

Defending CAPSLO’s rules and penalties, Torres and Hill said at a SLO City Council meeting last year that homeless people need structure and management. After the meeting, former Councilman Andrew Carter said that the rule against being on Prado Road should be followed to discourage homeless from bothering business owners.



We keep hearing about the “homeless crisis” in SLO.

The only “homeless crisis” we are facing is one manufactured by Dee Torres, the Board of Supervisors who slavishly support her.

She is doing more to conflagrate the problem than she is to solve it. Indeed, it seems that Torres’ primary goal is to WORSEN the situation than to improve it.


There are so many horrifying issues presented in this article, I’m nearly overwhelmed.

Here goes on the first one that struck my heart.

One of the strictly-enforced CAPSLO rules prohibits the homeless from being within 1/8 mile (660 ft) of the Prado Center between 4 and 8:30 AM, and also from being within 1/8 mile Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter between 7 AM and 5 PM.

The reason Dee Torres gave? Because her employees are afraid of the homeless, so she wants the homeless out of the area when employees are coming and going.

First off, if there is such a problem then HIRE SECURITY GUARDS. They certainly have the funding for it. They appear to have money to burn, based on the lavish salaries, benefits and pilfered freebies they get.

I can well see why the homeless may be rightfully outraged at Torres and that certainly could be transferred to the facilities themselves. But public sidewalks are open to the public. Where do they get off telling ANYBODY not to be on public property?

In addition, CAPSLO is almost completely funded by TAXPAYER FUNDS. Where does she get off making up these draconian and “mother-may-I” gotcha’ regulations? I don’t want my taxpayer money going towards that kind of BS.

Have there actually been any incidents between CAPSLO staff and the homeless population THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO SERVE? Is there ANY justification for it, other than “Dee Says So”?

All funding to CAPSLO should be put on hold until a thorough independent, out-of-county investigation (and not one of CAPSLO’s “Duh, we investigated it and found nothing” bullcrap) is conducted.

Dee Torres is clearly unqualified to run a dog kennel, let alone a $60million public-funded care center for the homeless. If Adam Hill and the rest of the supervisors won’t work to remove her from the position, then they must completely unfund CAPSLO.

Dee Torres is actually making MORE homeless, and costing us MORE money in the police harassment of the homeless, many of whom, very likely, are homeless because of Dee Torres’ draconian administration of a program which is supposed to end homelessness in ten years.



Some of the other articles are damning, but this one may not be.

You need rules. These homeless centers can get out of hand if you don’t have them.

You cannot have people camping in the front all day…it makes sense to me.

Even the idea of giving tickets to homeless not working with CAPSLO sounds good to me. Assuming CAPSLO is trying to get people to return to the working world, then the idea of enforcing that the homeless either get their act together and TRY or get a ticket from the cops…that sounds like excellent policy to me.

If you want to be homeless, and some do, as it is an alternative lifestyle, then go do that in San Francicso where they will pay you to be homeless.

If you are homeless and want to stop being homeless, get a job, get a place and all that, then you enter the CAPSLO program. I like it.

Hopefully all the other damning articles are wrong, but they may not be. But this article to me is not damning. You need rules to do this, or you will have complete chaos in the homeless shelter.

Finally, I know most of us are all frustrated with the corruption of local government (and state and national government too), I sure am. But not everything the government does is bad. It is not black and white. There are some smart and good people working for government, along with a ton of slackers and blood suckers.

Please think about it, if you were running a homeless center, would you have rules? Would you have rules like these? I bet you would.


I do agree with you everyman! I do agree there HAS to be rules. There has to be a proper balance though. When you are handling the mentally ill homeless, the rules have to be reasonable, rules they can follow. We need a team that is compassionate and understands the mentally ill. (not put out ridiculous rules that are just meant to bully). The mentally ill need structure, I get that, but banning from food is a cruel punishment. The duration of the “Banning” is just crazy. IF they refuse to house or feed them, then CAPSLO should be required to return their $$ to take care of themselves for the month.


Oh please, No one say’s; there should be NO rules at the shelter just not bogus control freak rules. The concept that anyone is suggesting “no” rules is a bogus red herring.

So they are in case management, there SS is diverted, but break a rule and no food, no case manager, no money (even for real necessities).

Friendliest city indeed.


We are hearing only one side of the story here. It may be that there are more reasons for banning some of these people than are stated. I don’t know why CAPSLO hasn’t responded to specific complaints but they may have good legal reasons for not doing so (beyond CYA).

I also don’t know that CAPSLO/Family Ties is keeping control of the SSI$ for those that are tossed out. Do you know or are you just speculating?


As you see here there seems to be tons of speculation, misinformation, partial truthes, and major embellishments to the stories and comments around here. When you do give phisical documented information the good ol boys of this community don’t seem to want to hear/see it and just give you dislikes.


Agreed. You are right.

I just think we shouldn’t be so rabid here.

Not everything they do is bad or unreasonable.


I think taking the rights away from one group of people, and harassing them (which is what Dee Torres and her harmful and arbitrary rules is–harassment) is wrong. Defining a group of people which cannot stand or sit in public areas, especially on sidewalks, is just WRONG.

If Dee Torres cannot deliver services without harming and harassing those receiving the services, then she needs to be fired and a competent, compassionate person placed in her position.

Don’t you get it? Her “rules” are making it harder for the homeless to get housing. Her “rules” are actually increasing the number of homeless people who must seek shelter on the streets or in the bushes.


Oh please, No one say’s; there should be NO rules at the shelter just not bogus control freak rules.

“If you are homeless and want to stop being homeless, get a job, get a place and all that, then you enter the CAPSLO program.”

No, if you want housing and a job the other programs are more effective. The goal here is to warehouse the homeless till they get discouraged and go away.

“But not everything the government does is bad. It is not black and white.” This is not a Everything problem stop changing the subject.

” then the idea of enforcing that the homeless either get their act together and TRY or get a ticket from the cops…that sounds like excellent policy to me.” When that cop could be looking for a drunk driver, a rapist or a hard drug dealer? As a city taxpayer no our cops have better things to do.

But you”everyman” have solved homelessness in just one comment, wait by the phone Stockholm will be calling soon.


YOWZER. Great post.


Rules, yes however with rules comes reasonable consicquences for violating them. IMO, the refusal of services for being early or being in close proximity to the shelters seems excessive. This is a case management issue. How does a 30 day ban from services for people who have mental issues solve the problem? Folks that pose a danger to others or are disruptive need to be dealt with in an alternative fashion. Taking their money and then banning them is not it.

I refer back to my statement, this is a case management issue. Again, this is why the development of saine, fair and reasonable processes need to be implemented by sound NEW management.


QUOTING EVERYMAN: “Please think about it, if you were running a homeless center, would you have rules? Would you have rules like these? I bet you would.”

These are not “rules.” They are draconian steps being taken by a power-mad SLO-County-BOS-backed tyrant who is actually further degrading the homeless and lessening their chance of EVER becoming mainstream again. Of course, this offers job security for the CAPSLO homeless industry she runs, but at a huge cost to everyone else.

I think it is a sad commentary on our community when anyone would blame the homeless for being treated so horribly by CAPSLO. It insidiously lessens our willingness to stand up to bad treatment of ALL people when we don’t stand up for bad treatment for one class of people. And it can start us down a very dangerous road.

A relative, born in Germany and immigrated with his family when he was 9, served in the Army during WWII ended up being a German translator when the internment facilities were “liberated” by the Allies.

Off and on, over the years, he lived with our family. I well remember being awakened at night by screams from his nightmares. Ultimately, the experience destroyed him.

So I’ve heard a lot about what went on in Germany before and during the war, from people who were there.

I don’t like to make comparison’s to Nazi Germany, but I simply have to in this case, because it started with demonification of classes of people. These classes of people were treated differently than others, their rights were taken away–even a right like being able to walk on public spaces in certain areas, or being able to live where they wanted.

Once these classes of people were demonified as being bad, unworthy, a threat to the population, then it was much easier for the Good Germans to look the other way when more draconian government measures were taken.

It started with a power-mad dictator, and it started on a small scale. First it was one group, then another group, then another group. First it was just isolating them in facilities or sections of the city where they could live, then it progressed.

When the disabled people were targeted in Germany, someone with Huntingon’s would have been the first to go. It is, after all, such a visible disability. Easy target. That part of this articled REALLY bothered me.

So I don’t agree with the idea AT ALL that the kind of “rules” at the CAPSLO facility are okay. I don’t agree AT ALL with the reality that Dee Torres, powered by her relationship with County Supervisor Adam Hill, is allowed to treat fellow human beings this way.


Let’s see, I remember in Munich in the late 1920s, we permitted Hitler to have his own army. We permitted the Nazis to go where they want, and then what happened?

I know, my allegory stinks. Kinda like some other allegories. Bad allegories do not make a good argument.

Some people are just angry and want to vent. That is what I see.

Topic of the month is CAPSLO.

Like I said before, I don’t know what is true. We will find out I hope. If they are guilty, I hope they are punished. Let’s see what happens, but let the raging go. Dang!


Comparisons between two similar objects or situations certainly can be made part of a logical argument.

I stand by my comparison. If we allow Dee Torres and CAPSLO to demonify one group of people, we run the risk of allowing them others to name another scapegoat who the can harass, torment and discriminate against.

She made a rule banning CAPSLO’s homeless clients from being on a public sidewalk during the hours SHE determined were correct. Who the he!! made her God, anyway?

I am SOOOO happy CAPSLO is being investigated. Adam Hill may be able to shield Torres from the wrath of the outraged public, but he won’t be able to shield her from the investigation trigger by Social Security, and the investigations by the law enforcement agencies, as well.

And what do you bet that, when it comes down to it, CAPSLO will leave Torres twisting in the wind….just like OCSD left Geaslen twisting in the wind when the lack of oversight by OCSD was a big part of what allowed Geaslen to get away with it as long as he did….and just like Supervisor Texieria and Mrs. Geaslen are strangely silent now that Geaslen is on the skids.


So how do you know all of this? How do you know Dee Torres “made a rule banning CAPSLO’s homeless clients from being on a public sidewalk during the hours SHE determined were correct?” Did you ask her?


Well said, everyman!

The Gimlet Eye

Welcome the police state.

The state has a lot of the same types of rules for the rest of us as well. How come very few people protest those?


Friendliest city police state indeed. Where the jackbooted ones have “have a nice day” smiley face buttons next to the badge with black tape over the number.


Seriously, what kind of editor is Bill Loving? “Hey, guys, great reporting. But you need to at least try to get a comment. If they refuse, or won’t return messages, put that in the story. Then we’ll run it.”


Homer, I am still trying to figure out why you are here? Just about every one of your responses damns the reporting. If you dislike CCN so much then why read it? Seems you are Either Cuddy, Hill, Torres, or Liz, just sad that your own “DIS CCN” site didn’t take off. ??


Maybe he’s one of those people Adam Hill’s PR group advertised for, to massage message boards to reflect a certain sentiment of the posters—a nice way of saying, post-for-pay.


I am wondering if any of you want to hear truth and fact. Since I posted my comment above sighting the facts that many of the posters here keep screaming for. ie a publicized audit report. Seems like you don’t want to see truth and documented facts, you just want to keep bashing people over your own prejudice towards them.

At least Homer has a mind of his own and does not submit to the gang mentality that has overrun most of the commentaries on this board


Gang mentality?? Haha! Seems like the mantality here is one of care and concern for the mal treatment of those who are unable to speek for themselves! Just because people are outraged at the thought of someone in a position to help, actually harming others, doesn’t constitute gang mentality! Sounds to me like you and Homer could possibly be up in the mix of those accused. Any person with an ounce of integrity would find these accusations horrific! The fact that the same things are being reported over and over again by numerous unrelated people means there is validity in what is being said, where there is smoke there is fire! Now it’s just a matter of time to see how severely someone gets burned! Personally, I’d back away.


Yes gang mentality. As for being outraged I can understand this when you are getting your information from sources like this that give you only part of the information. This is why I have suggested to any and all commenters here that actually want to get a full view of what actually goes on to volunteer at either of the services. No I am not in the mix of this but I have educated myself over the years I have been volunteering at CAPSLO / EOC and my time there exceeds the directorship of Dee Torres. So yes I do know that the rules that this article is getting people upset about far exceeds Dees time as director. Like I said get involved and get the full story from seeing what goes on from the inside and volunteer. This article shows anyone that knows the inner workings of the shelter / daycenter the inaccuracies that is consistantly being put out public viewing to invoke this emotional response.


Yes, LAH, it’s so strange that people read stories that are supposed to be objective reports and question why people who are being accused of something aren’t given the chance to defend themselves. I read news on tons of sites. I comment when I feel something needs comment. If what you’re really asking is if you’ve got nothing nice to say, then keep it to yourself — well, sorry. Don’t you at least wonder, “Hmm, I wonder what Dee Torres has to say for herself?”


I think Dee has an account and has commented here on CCN … too lazy to search, you do it


I happen to think he’s a very, very good editor. At least he read the entire article which, obviously, you did not.


Uh, actually I did. Then posted a comment that was deleted. Then the paraphrased comment at the bottom of the story showed up. Try to keep up.


So Dee is “Barring” them from services, but then forcing them to give their funding to Family ties -CAPSLO.

So during that time of “Barring” do they get their $$ back to they can feed themselves or pay for a hotel? Where is that $$ going when someone is kicked out? IF CAPSLO is spending ZERO on the barred people, no food, no shelter, how do they account for that $$ they are receiving from SSI for these people?

They not only receive the $60+million, they are also collecting those monthly checks. ERica has a terminal illness, for SURE she is receiving SSI. Why should she resort to sleeping on the street or steeling/begging for food when she has that $$ for her care? Is CAPSLO is outright STEALING from these people, by NOT providing services while taking their checks!!


Also I am getting really tired of the overuse of the$60M figure that is being thrown around by CCN and their cronies. Does CAPSLO in general get that in a year??? YES, but to say that when referring to the Homeless Services portion is ridiculous. If you really want to see what is spent on that service check out their audit that was done in March 2012, link: and go to page 30. $2.3M is definitely a less impressive number!


27 million for Head start? How many kids are actually in the program?

And ITs 2.3million plus ALL the SSI $$ they are receiving from the clients. The issue is, the client signss their check over…then has to Pay for a plastic fork! Mismanagement is the issue.


A “Cronie”


CAPSLO manages about a dozen Head Start programs in this county alone and about twice that number in other counties. Figure that there are an average of 30(?) kids at each one and you have over a thousand kids receiving pre-school through CAPSLO at any time. (My guesstimates are VERY rough approximations.) That would be less than $27K per kid. I don’t know how that compares to the cost per kid in the regular school system but it is less than it costs to house an inmate in the state prison system.

It is hard to tell from the reporting, but CAPSLO does not use any of the SSI $ from their clients to cover their costs. They are supposed to be managing that money for the client’s benefits through Family Ties. IF the reporting is accurate, there may be some real problems there but it isn’t in the use of those funds for CAPSLO overhead.


Well the SSI money that is being spoke of is not to be used by CAPSLO or any other entity that serves as a payee. This money belongs to the individual that it is being payed to. This money is being held for the individuals for safe keeping for them. That is why you will not see this put into any budget or financial statements for the company.


You were complaining about the accuracy of the information here? lol.

Family ties charges a monthly fee for management, sometimes they buy you a cemetery plot.

When Cliff Anderson asked case management for his money for some shoes they said no.

When Cliff Anderson asked case management for an accounting they said no.

When Cliff asked for some help and a citizen stepped up to help him get his money, someone at FT or capslo told SSA there was more than 2k in “safe keeping for them” so he was cut off.

Imagine someone cutting off your only source of income because you stood up for your rights and asked questions.

Then the lawyers got involved.

“Fullfilling the Promise” Biz could have fixed all of this with a couple of phone calls and we wouldn’t even be here. Shame.

NuVo You might want to look into what is going on.


Kettle even if I had answers to those questions I would not be able to answer them due to confidentiality. This would be the reason that you or I will never hear the other side to what is going on.

Although I can speculate what could have happened here. How often does SSA audit the accounts. Maybe once a year? And what if the audit schedual is known and you know when to spend down the money. Then all these articles come out and SSA catches wind of it. Now SSA runs a non scheduled audit because of the media. Then who to blame for the loss of income to cliff?

As I stated before this is speculation I have no idea if this is what happened or not. Just food for thought.


Right so you are speculating that the people who manage the SS money let the amount held exceed the allowed saved amount? That would be against federal program rules.

Wow so the client asks questions about there money and the client is cut off and gets no money. but if they shut up then the payee lets the accounts exceed the allowed amount? And you thing that’s ok. this violation of the fiduciary responsibilities?

Capslo is the case manager even if family ties is the payee so to answer your question, capslo case management is to blame for knowly breaking federal rules on management of someones retirement money.

But you a part of capslo wants to blame the media for what has happened to Cliff?

If the rules had been followed, there would have never been an article, just that simple.

No wonder there is an investigation.


Thank you again for your reasoned contributions to these comments. I, too, don’t know if any of these allegations are accurate and have less information than you do. I simply champion the cause of ethical, accurate reporting.


2 million or $10.00 doesn’t matter, what matters is if the budget reflects accurately the amount of funds coming into the program, ( if I read this correctly) 62.000, going towards utilities and janitorial costs, why are clients being made to do chores and why does money need to be collected from clients for lawn mower gas? I hope I did look at this wrong because if not, this is even more disturbing!


Well $62k for janitorial/utilities may seem excessive for the common household but you really have to think of what this all entails. This covers 2 physical locations with electricity, gas, trash, sewer fees, water consumtion, etc for on average 120 – 180 per day. Then you have to add the supplies for these people to do their business ie toiletpaper, paper towels, washing linens, laundry, cleaning supplies to name a few. Then there is the maintenance of the delapodated structures as well as replacing lighting and grounds keeping. The chores that the homeless are asked to perform is not an all encompassing task of keeping the buildings together, just the tasks of simple cleaning.


Clients money is not taken or kept for program use by Homeless Services. The client savings plan remains their money being saved towards housing. The monthly saving percentage is put aside AFTER the participants personal bills (storage, cell phone, dinner money for the safe parking participants, often times extra spending money and even money for cigarettes) are taken care of. The actual amount put aside for the savings plan is considerably less. 50-70% AFTER bills and needs, is a reasonable amount, especially considering how much it costs to move in to a place these days.


CAPSLO needs to address these issues NOW with a leadership and management change. There should be processes and procedures in place that clearly define their management strategies that best serve the homeless and NOT the management. Up to this point CAPSLO has not addressed the public in such a way that explains their actions and treatment of the homeless in this county, which is horrendous based on the allegations that have been brought to light by the reporting done by CCN.

All businesses have rules and regulations that must be followed however when you’re providing services to the mentally ill you have to adjust your rules with this in mind. Banning someone from services for 30 days seems to be a bit on the harsh side given the fact that monies have been provided by taxpayers to provide such services.

I ask that Biz come out and publicly speak to the issues.

Russ J

It’s called homeless population control. Next year they’ll be chartering buses and dumping these people in Santa Barbara. Way to go Dee.


As long as it isn’t an internment camp, they will be better off away from CAPSLO, Dee Torres, and the County of San Luis Obispo which enables this horrible treatment of its citizens to continue.



Adam Hill should resign NOW!!!


Will never happen, for various reasons

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