CAPSLO in line to receive homeless parking monopoly

September 3, 2013
CAPLO's Dee Torres

CAPSLO’s Dee Torres

BY KAREN VELIE and JOSH FRIEDMAN

The San Luis Obispo City Council is slated to vote Tuesday on an ordinance that will require private property owners who allow homeless individuals to sleep in their vehicles overnight to bring in Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) to manage the program.

Current ordinances make it a misdemeanor for businesses, churches or residential owners to allow anyone to sleep overnight in a vehicle in their parking lot or driveway. The ordinance applies whether the person is homeless, a long haul truck driver or a tourist stopping to rest.

If the council passes the proposed safe parking ordinance, property owners who allow a person to sleep in a car in San Luis Obispo, without CAPSLO’s oversight could still be charged with a misdemeanor. In addition, homeless people, truck drivers and tourists accepting the charity of a free parking place can also be charged with a misdemeanor.

The proposed ordinance contains restrictive wording that would prohibit other non-profits and religious organizations from providing parking for the homeless unless CAPSLO case managers provide oversight and case management. CAPSLO’s case management includes the requirement that homeless individuals pay CAPSLO or an affiliate agency a monthly fee to hold 50 to 70 percent of their income.

CAPSLO has successfully worked for years with San Luis Obispo County staff to garner the greatest amount of federal dollars available to local non-profits. A string of emails between CAPSLO’s Director of Homeless Services, Dee Torres, and San Luis Obispo County staff demonstrate how Torres has participated in funding discussions with county staff that other non-profits have been prohibited from attending.

“Maybe we can avoid the infighting if we keep to city/county reps, key community advisers, and direct services provider linkages (keep Friends of Prado, EOC, PSHH, Transitions, Housing Authority etc., out of this particular group),” Torres said in a 2008 email.

San Luis Obispo County Planning Supervisor Dana Lilley said he agreed with keeping other non-profits off of the committee. County planner Torell Morgan noted that they should allow the other non-profits to battle among themselves after the primary funding decisions have been made.

“If we could keep our focus on securing the buy in for the plan and let the non-profits go at it in the HSCC exec meeting we could keep our focus,” Morgan wrote in the email string.

CAPSLO officials first approached the city of San Luis Obispo with a request to promote a safe parking program in 2011.

Torres contends homeless individuals need to be managed by an agency already providing services to the homeless.

“I think it’s important to have a service provider that has experience with the population,” Torres said while promoting the ordinance to the SLO City Council.

Torres’ fiance, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill, as the 2011 chair of the Homeless Services Oversight Council, sent out a resolution to local governments claiming homeless parking programs are “necessary and valuable.”

In March 2012, SLO City Councilman John Ashbaugh made a motion to permit CAPSLO to operate a six month safe parking pilot program. It passed 5-0, as did another motion by Ashbaugh to extend the program for an additional six months. Ashbaugh claims his votes as a councilman to favor that nonprofit organization posed no conflict of interest, even though he sits on the CAPSLO board.

CAPSLO, which has supported aggressive ticketing of homeless in the past, has a stated goal of helping homeless individuals achieve self-sufficiency and housing.

In order to participate in the safe parking program or secure a bed in the shelter, homeless individuals are required to enter case management, which means they have to surrender 50 to 70 percent of their income (typically meager disability, social security or general relief benefits) to be held by CAPSLO or an affiliate agency.

Former employees of CAPSLO contend clients on case management regularly complain that monies given to their CAPSLO case managers are not returned in full. CAPSLO officials claim the complaints are unfounded.

 


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jimmy_me

The moral and ethical thing to do is to help those in need. If you don’t want to be part of the solution, don’t prevent other people from helping where they can. Passing laws that justify the existence of a failed and corrupt organization is unspeakably sad, but not surprising in this county.


slophocles

Here’s an idea: BUILD SOME F****ING HOUSING! All these great SLO capitalists and not one sees the a profit here? I’m no economist, but isn’t money made by looking around for needs to be filled? People need AFFORDABLE housing that they can into without several thousand dollars in deposits and sparkling credit.


jimmy_me

You got it. $60 million budget? Buy houses, put people in those houses. Administrative efforts to solve such problems are severely undermined by corruption individuals making six-figured salaries. Invest in the future rather than continue to toss money at solutions that don’t work.


r0y

Fool! You’re trying to SOLVE a problem, not milk it! Pshah! You’d NEVER make it in government.


Wow, you must have skipped university/college indoctrination. Why fix a problem when you can profit from it for years on end, with no decrease in funding/pay ever?


Some could say it’s like big, eeeeevil pharma profiting from the treatment, not the cure. Same as government… except government actually causes most of the problems they show up to fix.


hijinks

The matter isn’t lack of housing, it’s lack of affordable housing. Given what everything costs to build today, it isn’t possible to produce truly affordable to the underclasses housing, unless you rent it for less than the mortgage and upkeep cost. Are you going to put your money into that? If not, better think through how this would really work, and come up with a creative solution, like publicly owned housing rented at a loss with government grants picking up the difference. Your friendly developers aren’t going to help without some “incentive” (i.e., giveaway) like that.


Whyaduck

WAKE UP, SLO CITY COUNCIL!!!!!


Have you NOT yet received word that the Feds have been in town investigating CAPSLO? Do you REALLY want to be party to this fleecing of an already vulnerable population as well as fraud?


r0y

Puh-lease. The same Fed that allows the crap that’s been going on for years? NSA/FBI illegal spying. Bush and Obama circumventing and shredding the Constitution? Obamacare (not even remotely legal), etc.?


Do not get your hopes up that the bigger corrupt agency will “fix” the smaller corrupt agencies.


SLOBIRD

Acorn (community action) is a perfect example. For all their wrongdoing all they had to do was close down and create new names. Hell, they are still getting money from the government today and they don’t even exist anymore! Wasn’t our President one of these community organizers? I think that was his work experience before becoming an elected politician in Chicago (basically the same thing).


MaryMalone

Sometimes it takes awhile to get the State or Feds interested enough to launch an investigation. But when they do, often it is quite spectacular.


Case in point: the corruption in the City of Bell, California.


TruthFairy

No, they are not investigating CAPSLO. No Reason. CAPSLO does have audits, but there is NO investigation. Get Real. At least the city does their homework.


SLOBIRD

Would this include the Elk’s Lodge that allows people to sleep at their lodge (without proper permits) in RV’s, trailers, etc. Have they met and acquired the necessary permits from the City? Do they collect Bed Tax. Do they have the health permits?


Myself

I guess we’ve heard it all now, well till the next round of stupidity sets in.

With all the problems around this organization you would think that the city council had a few more brain cells than to force cs on a church,or other organization to oversee a parking lot, the rules are already set up via the city,from what I read a day or two ago, so why put cs in the mix, dt will most l;ikely want you to sign over your car.motor home tent and then pay her to watch over it.


BeenThereDoneThat

So this line here brings LOTS of questions……………


CAPSLO, which has supported aggressive ticketing of homeless in the past, has a stated goal of helping homeless individuals achieve self-sufficiency and housing.


Supported aggressive ticketing in past and NOW wants to help? RED FLAG ALERT!!!


mrcyberdoc

SLO doesn’t need CAPSLO or any other agency to oversee “safe parking” in San Luis Obispo. Just require everyone who allows a person to sleep in their car on their property to feed a newly installed parking meter on said property. SLO could use the extra revenue to hire overnight parking officers to patrol the city, give out tickets and make sure the meters are fed. Now someone from each church or department store will need to designate a person to check their parking lot in the wee hours of the monring so the property owner doesn’t get a ticket. So if I have friends from out of town who own a camper come and visit, they can’t sleep in their camper without a permit from CAPSLO? They had better inspect every car, truck, camper, etc to make sure they are not hoarding contraband such as those dreaded plastic sacks!


tomsquawk

Parking meters wouldn’t allow CALSLO to skim


euroamerican

Don’t forget the foie gras…..


Pelican1

Nothing like a little old fashioned exploitation of the homeless community with a bit of collusion tossed in for good measure eh!


pasodowny

But hey! Look over there at the north county!! They have falling groundwater problems that are due entirely republican party politics! Some may say there is a regional drought affecting all of the western US, but don’t believe them! It is a crisis that only liberal outsiders like me and Quixote, er, Gibson, can fix. Please ignore the homeless issue in SLO so Dee and I can monopolize the federal and private dollars.


Signed,


Adam


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