SLO council plans slight increase in CAPSLO funding

April 10, 2013

CAPSLOSan Luis Obispo’s city council plans to slightly increase its funding to Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) for the upcoming fiscal year, despite recent reports of the nonprofit mismanaging accounts and donations belonging to the homeless.

At a two-year budgeting meeting Tuesday, the council tentatively approved $240,688 in funding for CAPSLO’s Homeless Services program in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The proposed funding is a $1,750 increase from the current fiscal year.

The council did not address allegations of mistreatment of the homeless raised by former CAPSLO employees and others in a CalCoastNews series of articles entitled “Keeping Them Homeless.” Tuesday’s budget hearing marked the second time since the beginning of the series that the council approved funding for CAPSLO.

On Feb. 5, the day after CalCoastNews published the initial article in the series, council members Dan Carpenter and John Ashbaugh and Mayor Jan Marx defended CAPSLO prior to approving $224,688 in grants and general fund money for the nonprofit. Since the Feb. 5 meeting, Carpenter, Ashbaugh and Marx have continued to question the credibility of CalCoastNews’ reporting.

Earlier this year, the council chose to make addressing homelessness its most important city goal for the 2013-2015 budget cycle. The majority of the money the council plans on spending on homeless related programs over the next two years is slated to go to CAPSLO. The nonprofit is expected to receive the same amount of funding in the 2014-2015 fiscal year as in 2013-2014, with the exception of a projected 10 percent reduction in United States Department of Housing and Urban Development grant funds for the Maxine Lewis homeless shelter.

In addition to the $240,688 currently slated to go to CAPSLO in the upcoming fiscal year, the nonprofit will most likely receive around $10,000 in funding for its case management program from the city Grants-In-Aid Program. As with the HUD funding, the council must approve the Grants-In-Aid money after the budget is adopted. The council expects to adopt the budget on June 17.

Of the funding tentatively approved for CAPSLO, $121,988 will go toward the Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter and $53,000 will go toward the Prado Day Center. The council is also planning to continue its financial support of CAPSLO’s proposed 200-bed homeless services center, despite gridlock over a suitable location. It has budgeted $50,000 for the design of the center for each of the next two fiscal years.

The council likewise intends to continue funding CAPSLO’s Safe Parking Program, which allows five homeless individuals to park and sleep in their vehicles at night at the Prado Day Center. Funding for the parking program is expected to increase from $8,750 to $10,000.

CAPSLO Chief Operating Officer Jim Famalette spoke briefly during public comment. Famalette thanked the council for the funding and said he agreed with the prioritization of  the city’s homeless problem.

Ashbaugh, who sits on the CAPSLO Board of Directors, said he was pleased with the level of funding proposed for CAPSLO.

“I like the direction that is being put forward by staff to reinforce the homeless services program,” Ashbaugh said.

Councilwoman Kathy Smith said the council needed to “make a strong statement” on the homeless issue and suggested budgeting extra money for CAPSLO’s proposed services center.

“It would seem to me to be appropriate as a one-time investment to set some [capital improvement project] dollars aside to invest in the homeless services center,” Smith said. “Whether it is 500,000 or a million, I think we need to set some money aside.”



Why does Julie Tacker Squawk about turning in a speakers slip at the Oceano Board Meetings and

always tells Tom Geaslin ” I don’t know why you keep asking me to fill out one cause I’m not, its

not required under the Brown act” But she politely turns one in at the SLO board of Supervisors



Don’t even know where to start with this one, but here goes. Well, no surprise since this is the City that allows employees to take scrap materials for personal profit and make up to $3,500 in one transaction. This is the same City that allowed an employee for nearly a decade to cultivate and sell pot at the Cayucos / Whale Rock Reservoir. This is the same city that had an officer stealing, extorting and likely dealing in narcotics. This is the same agency that kept $75,000,000.00 off the books – slush fund. This is the same agency that recently claimed they found a $6,000,000.00 surplus for one time use. How do you find a surplus of $6,000,000.00 when you have such highly qualified people managing your finances? The real question should be, is how in the hell did they not know it was there. Maybe it was stashed in Katie’s Malibu Home or in Ashbaugh’s garage or that idiot Nance dumped it out back in the city yard or just maybe it was surplus property – surprised that Faria character didn’t get ahold of it?

So, now they continue to give money to an organization with a known questionable reputation, so now they can claim later they just aren’t very bright with money. There is a real pattern to support that position in SLOw town. Sounds like an episode from the 3 stouges.


Ah, but for everyone who knows your good points (above), there are at least 10 voters who have no idea about any of it… :(


This is but a drop in the bucket when compared to the accumulated amounts of money that is wasted in just this county alone.

No logical reason why a surplus piece of property with buildings could not be purchased and 200 cots added…


It should be that simple but it isn’t. The government doesn’t make exceptions to all their zoning and building regulations just because someone is doing good (ask Dan DeVaul.) If you want to provide shelter for others, there are numerous hoops you have to jump through and even more if you get government money for assistance.

Beyond that, some of these homeless have problems that cause them to be disruptive and destructive wherever they are. It may not be a high percentage but it doesn’t take many like that to create a lot of expensive and annoying difficulties with which an organization that is trying to help must deal.

Finally, there is the reality that most SLO residents are NIMBYs who want nothing to do with a homeless shelter in their vicinity (home or business.) This is understandable to a degree but it doesn’t make your solution very easy.


Excellent post…

Yes, Duval was trying to good, but he was a flagrant law breaker who had no intention of complying with zoning, building and health standards. 40 years ago he might have gotten his way but not today. Any government agency attempting to build a homeless shelter or even a dog kennel would be held to those strict standards.

Yes, many homeless are mentally ill or physically handicapped and need special help or requirements, but there are very strict ADA laws in effect. And until we address the mental illness problem properly instead of passing it along to the next generation we will see more and more individuals acting out in public. 50 years ago families took care of their ill and aged unless they were to sick to care for.

Homerun on the NIMBY descriptive, it is so true and can be found at the root of many issues in this county. IMHO, NIMBYS will not be happy with change or anything that effects their personal comfort.

Helping solve the problem could be dealt with and not offend surrounding property owners or tenants. It takes proper planning, obedience to existing laws and the ability to look outside the box, simply building or remodeling a property just because it is downtown or convieniently close to areas of the best pan handling, might not be the best for all concerned.

Again there are several government owned properties in this county some with buildings, Cuesta College, Camp Roberts and FHL, which all have older buildings and which could be remodeled(they are doing this as we speak at Camp Bob and soon to be FHL) and be on a public transit route(hwys 101 and 1) with public transportation.


We need more flagrant lawbreakers like Dan. Clearly the authorities in this country have no regard for the law, why should anyone else? Besides… there are two different meanings to the “rule of law.” There is the meaning which suggests that all conflicts will be dealt with by an impartial judge or jury and there is the meaning which suggests that LAW RULES everything and that you will submit no matter what the circumstances or you will get the you know what tasered or beat out of you. I don’t subscribe to the latter.


We need more people who want to help, but in a lawful way.

There are building and safety laws for one reason, to protect the public from unscrupulous persons wishing to cut corners, circumvent and break these safety laws. I supported duvals intentions but condmen his illegal behavior.

One question: who would have been responsible and paid if because of his unhealthful and dangerous living conditions, someone had been hurt or killed?

As one who is in the trade, and has to abide by these laws it irks me to see some (although sometimes well intentioned) get away with thumbing their noses at the law.

If mr duval had really wanted to help the poor or down and out, he could have followed the rules and they would be living in his approved facility today…


I understand the reason for building and safety laws. I am not an idiot. But I’m also aware of the concept of paradox. Last time I checked, the public does include homeless people. So protecting the public isn’t protecting the public, when it isn’t protecting the public. In other words the social cost of the regulation is too high. People need to do their own due diligence and then use the courts to settle disputes.

In addition to the obvious contradiction inherent with such policy, there is the ever present issue of companies lobbying for codes to further their own interests. The line between good intentions and cluster#$%$$ is pretty thin.


It’s like Philidelphia, PA recently passed an ordinance of no food in the parks because local charities were feeding homeless there. The big picture is this: government wants to be in control of EVERYTHING, ultimately. We’re not there yet, but anything that will compete with them (and worse, make them look bad at taking care of us) is quickly regulated out.

mkaney has an excellent point: at what point is protecting the public not protecting the public? Also, most building codes are only for fees and make-work anyway. Whether one complies or not, they are sued when a catastrophe occurs, and the state is indemnified and exempt from lawsuits (even if they “approved” the plans). It’s a big joke.


When Ashbaugh ran for Congress, among other offices, he weaseled endorsements from the heaviest hitters around

(Feinstein, Boxer etal}. What on Earth makes him think he would do better on a next try?


Because a lot of mentally challenged people in California actually think Boxer and Feinstein are decent people and respectable politicians. Scary, isn’t it?


OoOoOoo scary women got votes.


I agree $1750 isnt really significant, but it does show BOS ignoring the potential of a CAPSLO disaster. I am sure the entire org is not corrupt. But you would think the BOS would in the least wait till the investigations are over, and demand an overhauling. Instead they ignore there are any issues at all? That is sad. Looking forward to voting in a new BOS.

Why does it take $10k to allow 5 cars to park in the Prado parking lot at night?



That’s a very good question; why does it cost 8K and now 10K to have 5 parking slots on their parking lot?

Do they provide security, Service hookups, and window services or after hours potty’s and showers?

I’ve got 3 spaces that could be used…I estimate that would bring in about 5.5K…where do I sign up for this program?


That’s the SLO City Council, not the BOS. If you’re mad about this, voting out your supervisor won’t do a darn thing.


You find an old building, you put 200 surplus military cots in it.. You have yourself a homeless shelter. What the #$*#* is wrong with these people?


You are so right! This is what local churches and the synagogue have been doing for two decades at NO cost to taxpayers. Each one takes them for a month. They provide a place for the children to do their homework and breakfast in the morning before they leave.

I think we have done enough. We have a day center where the homeless can shower, do laundry, hang out, get a free lunch; we have the Maxine Lewis shelter and the churches; we had Dan Devaul until the government shut him down; and there was a commune called Roandoak on Highway One that took in homeless people for years – don’t know if it is still there. We have hundreds of units of low-cost housing scattered throughout the city that are solving homelessness for those tenants.

I think we should say, This is it, this is all we have, take it or LEAVE.


It should be that simple but it isn’t. The government doesn’t make exceptions to all their zoning and building regulations just because someone is doing good (ask Dan DeVaul.) If you want to provide shelter for others, there are numerous hoops you have to jump through and even more if you get government money for assistance.

Beyond that, some of these homeless have problems that cause them to be disruptive and destructive wherever they are. It may not be a high percentage but it doesn’t take many like that to create a lot of expensive and annoying difficulties with which an organization that is trying to help must deal.


I wasn’t talking about the day to day issues that would occur at a shelter, just talking about building one. If we can’t learn to make exceptions to the rules for common sense reasons, then we are idiots that deserve to meet our demise in a paradox of our own design. Almost any shelter is better than no shelter. And anyone who can’t get that through their thick skull is not just part of the problem, they are a contributing cause to the problem.


Interesting. I wish we local taxpayers could have some control over these expenditures. Didn’t the Council just give them 200K a few months ago?

Remember, Council member John Ashbaugh is on the CAPSLO board as well. The Council just seems to do what it wills. For better or worse, if Jan Marx is a Mason then well, she’s pretty influential.

And if Jim Famalette shares crafty advice to CAPSLO from having been CEO of Gottschalk’s, no wonder the confidence of all those currently being accused of conducting misdeads. Not a single explanation..


We do have control, at least at the ballot box…

Someone you voted for is doing a bad job, DO NOT vote for them again. Simple…


While a $1,750 increase, percentage-wise, is not really significant, it would appear that this may be the council’s way of thumbing their nose at those who wish to look into possible mis-management of funds.

Before, they claimed (that crazy councilmember that Dave had to hang up on… forget which weasel it was) that without any official criminal charges or investigations, they were going to go ahead and vote for more funding. Well, now that the Inspector General is looking into it (among others), what is their take? Not until we all walk in and witness them with their pants around their ankles DOING the dirty deed will they alter their actions?

More fleecing of the public by elected officials who lie to our faces and have no problem with it.


Ashbaugh still has dreams of higher office. So he is building his CV. One can’t feather one’s nest and be critical of the nest at the same time, particularly since CAPSLO is the darling of the left and homelessness is their latest feel-good cause.

Amazing how these people throw around your money though isn’t it? Wonder if Ashbaugh and Smith would be willing to show how much of their own money they gave to charity.