CAPSLO in line to receive homeless parking monopoly

September 3, 2013
CAPLO's Dee Torres

CAPSLO’s Dee Torres


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.



Anything that gets rid the homeless, pass it. They’re maybe some decent homeless people out there but that’s 1%, so that means get rid of the 99% of them.


i have mixed emotions about your comment, but when i needed work i knocked on doors until i found some. i didn’t mind washing dishes


Not everyone is like you. Obviously, this is a mixed blessing.


I think the proportions are closer to 50:50. The problem is that the worst ones stand out like a sore thumb. There are a lot of homeless that blend in and don’t cause problems which means you don’t know they exist unless you look for them specifically. Given that — do you still think that getting rid of all of them is worth the cost of punishing those who don’t cause problems? Do you have a better solution?

(I am assuming that you aren’t a Christian — or at least not one who takes Jesus’ words very seriously.)


The “Religious Right” clearly demonstrated that there are many who call themselves “Christian” who don’t take Jesus’ words very seriously.


If CAPSLO wants to be in charge of all private places that allow people to park and sleep, they sure as hell better have staff sitting out there all night too! You want to run it all, run it! Don’t just appoint yourself “Owners of the Homeless!” How could they not want as much help as possible from anyone willing to help? The more help the better for everyone!


They have a program in Santa Barbara that works pretty good but I wouldn’t trust CAPSLO with it. A new entity that does just that one thing – homeless parking (I know, another entity). In Santa Barbara you can only park at these places during certain hours and there are zero-tolerance rules on drug/alcohol use, urinating outdoors, etc.


That type of program requires a very knowledgeable and dedicated director/administrator.

I think it has been made clear by the County BOS’s continued support of CAPSLO and Dee Torres as its director/administrator translates to Torres continuing to hold the position of director of homeless services for CAPSLO.

Torres has shown herself to be the exact opposite of a knowledgeable and dedicated director/administrator.

So I don’t think we can look forward to a CAPSLO program anything near as successful as Santa Barbara’s.


Mary, at a minimum she will remain director as long as she is shacking Hill. It will be interesting when this County can be rid of that little peon and his fluff. Maybe, if we are lucky they will move on and start over! Poor kids…


I hope they can find a way to bundle another ridiculous fire truck and maybe an armored personnel carrier or a tank into the budget for this BOONDOGGLE.

The collective SLO City Council needs to pull their heads out of their backsides and start living up to their pay grade!

Jorge Estrada

This does not compute? Do the allegations levied against this organization have any substance? I guess not and a big appology may be in-order for this well managed and efficiently run philanthropy grant distribution network. A city ordinance requiring CAPSLO oversight, what will be the chargeabe fees for that oversight program?


You’re being sarcastic, right?


I don’t think Adam, I mean Jorge is being sarcastic.

Jorge Estrada

si— que loca, que estupida, que malo jefe de ciudad.


if- you crazy, that stupid, that bad city manager



CAPSLO isn’t going to be happy until 100% of each client’s SS money is handed over to CAPSLO to pay for its “services.”


The city of SLO is “going to hell in a hand basket”…


It is already there.


Grateful Dead…”going to Hell in a bucket but at least I’m enjoying the ride”


Well, SOMEONE is enjoying “the ride,” but I don’t think it is SLO County’s taxpayers.


being in “govmnt” is a great job. to quote an Orange County worker “don’t worry, there’s always another program”. great thing for a bright eyed graduate student to hear. i’ve also worked for the Canadian government and the World Bank, among others. nice tea parties. nothing is better than feeding at the public trough.

peasants, torches & pitchforks. we all need to see Frankenstein’s Monster again. we have met the enemy and he is us.


The bottom line here is that CAPSLO has been out to create a monopoly to the exclusion of all other non profits for many years. This has been known and is now clearly evident beyond conjecture by the means of their own e-mail correspondence. This is ILLEGAL.

Good job CCN, keep exposing them for what they are. It’s not about the homeless, it’s about power, corruption and MONEY.


Clearly, the plan is to put CAPSLO/Dee Torres in charge of all homeless services.

I think the overall reason for that is CAPSLO/Torres don’t want ANY operational or fiscal oversight whatsoever.

IMO, part of that desire for lack of oversight is because of the “alleged” fiscal improprieties at CAPSLO and Family Ties, but part of it is that Torres and her supporters just don’t want anyone to know how inept she is, and how unsuited she is for the position.


Because THAT’S how we do it in SLO town

Progressives are doubling down because they can.


It’s a good thing that I don’t live in SLO. I would have to let traveling friends sleep on my floor rather than allow them to sleep in their comfortable beds in their beautiful campers when they stop by on their way down or up the coast. What a bunch of gestapo the SLOCC is. AS for the churches, it seems to me that a church can allow people to sleep in their lot is they want, not everyone wants to encounter bed bugs like what has been occurring at the shelter.


Maybe if you slip the director of homeless services a gift card, she’ll instruct the police to look the other way when it comes to your friends.


It’s not about helping the homeless, it’s all about the money..