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.



Hey… when is a monopoly really a good idea??

I think John Ashbaugh should rethink his support….


When you have 4 hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place…


I can visualize CAPSLO installing parking meters and pay port-a-pottys in church parking lots all over the city and county. Who else but Dee should be in charge of collections.


Sometimes the only way to fix a problem, when democracy has failed, is direct action. So if the circumstance arises, I will happily let someone park their car in my driveway and sleep there. The only thing that the city is going to get from me should they try to fine me is a long drawn out court case with appeals as far as I can take them. I strongly suggest that this be the approach taken by everyone, organizations and individuals. I’m sure there are plenty of lawyers willing to take this.


I know a few homeless people who would be willing to park in your drive way. Leave a phone number, and I will send them to you.

Niles Q

The ordinance needs to have protections written into it, to protect the public’s money and the homeless people who are going to be using this.

Whoever runs it, there needs to be limits on the amount of money that can be taken from the clients through this case management.

These are not completely homeless people living in the creek and packing ALL they own around everywhere, these people will have costs associated with their lives, like car insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs, DMV fees, smog checks, propane tanks, etc…

They need whatever money they are getting to keep that “home” of theirs up and usable.

Plus take a page out of Dan Duvaul’s book and have these people clean up and maintain the space they’ve been allowed to use. And I’m not talking about using chores as a punishment or as some kind of extortion, like Torres does now, but as a way to make these people part of a family of sorts. Pride in belonging will bring pride in one’s self and a clearer path to turning your life around.

Charging people for the priviledge of not being hassled by police is distasteful and cruel.

Taking a percentage of someone’s income is inherently unfair just for providing a patch of dirt to park a beat up motorhome on. If this were to become a RV park-like situation where people won’t have to drive off every morning would also help them to save money and for those with children, give the kids a place to come home to after school.

A subsidized RV/MHP park would be better than what this ordinance seems to propose and a whole lot cheaper than a $20 million homeless services dormatory/Taj Mahal. A time limit cold be placed on people to make sure they are working towards moving out of the park, so someone else can be helped.

Don’t do this half-assed. Don’t just go to great lengths to provide a safe place to park, provide a park to have a safer life.

As for the services, the ordinance needs to have audit schedules, reporting (quarterly?) to judge success and to watchdog the program.

That’s what’s happened with CAPSLO and the two shelters now, the government hitched it’s wagon to the CAPSLO horse but there’s no one cracking the whip and making sure the programs are being run correctly, and fairly.

This contract for running this program must be put out for bids. Maybe the City can get a better deal from someone who isn’t so spread out like CAPSLO. I’m sure there are CAPSLO employees or former employees that could form an LLC, nonprofit and run this program exclusively.


NilesQ, I agree with much of your post, but I thought this quote was brilliant:

“Charging people for the priviledge of not being hassled by police is distasteful and cruel.”

I think it could also be called “a protection racket,” but your way of stating it is nicer.

From Disneyland

Niles: I agree with not doing half-assed s..t!! How about SLO community do something we are proud of, such as helping out a quietly emerging homeless project called: Information regarding this project is as follows:




From Disneyland

Hope’s Village of SLO

7 hours ago.

Our next Hope’s Village meeting is this coming up Wednesday, September 11th at 10:00am at the SLO Salvation Army in SLO (corner of Chorro & Islay) — come join us as we continue to plan our village AND the September 28th Open House and Fundraiser hosted by the SLO Moose Lodge! Call 234-5478 with questions…


Ted Slanders


I cannot believe in how CAPSLO is now proposing to seek a monopoly of the homeless in San Luis Obispo by, in part, charging the many divisions of Christian churches for them to park on THEIR tax free property. Blaspheme!

When are these aforementioned Christian churches actually going to read their bibles for enlightenment relative to the poor, and stand up to this Jezebel, Dee Torres, and her minions of Satan?!

Do any of the following inspired by God passages mention that one is to have a monopoly upon the poor and to make money on them as CAPSLO proposes in the name of Satan? NO THEY DO NOT!

“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.” (Psalm 82:3)

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” (Proverbs 19:17)

“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” ( Luke 14:13-14)

“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you.” ( Leviticus 25:35-36)

Jesus said: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless.” ( Proverbs 31:8)

“For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ (Deuteronomy 15:11)

SLO CHRISTIAN CHURCHES; ban together and stand up to CAPSLO in the name of Jesus, just for a change! Remember, Jesus is watching you become hypocrites if you don’t!

“Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17)


Welcome back, Brother Ted, missed your postings! This one is right ont…


Also welcome back Ted.

Miss your ‘right on’ logic and interesting point of view…

And that is right after your biblical quotes that I have Googled to see if you are “Christianallity Correct”.

And I’ll be damned that you are CORRECT in EVERY one of your truisms!

You have an awesome power of alternative logic Ted, and on behalf of half of humanity please let me pay my most sincere respects.

Welcome Back!


A Lot of Us


ABSOLUTE B.S.!!!!!!!!! CAPLSLO should not have a monopoly on ANYTHING!!!!!!!

A law against people helping people? Fascistic. Unconstitutional.. Evil.


Watch how much more money Dee Torres will be getting from the City for running this program which will include a raise as her duties escalate. Just remember all this when the City comes a’knockin next year for that Sales Tax increase known as Measure Y which is due to expire in 2014. They need to retain that increase for Katie, Christine (the attorney) and brother-in-law Ted Green’s nice salaries along with all the waste and legal costs the City is spending on homeless services. They want it, they got it, all the other cities just bring them to SLO, friendliest homeless City in California. Bring your money, sign in for our best of services and trust us, we will take good care of you!


QUOTING SLOBIRD: Bring your money, sign in for our best of services and trust us, we will take good care of you!”

You forgot the “…and bedbugs supplied, free of charge!”


Anyone see the Tribune this morning? The bedbug incident has cost about $20,000 so far and yes, they are back. But, fear not, City SLO, County of SLO and Housing Authority are going to take care of it. See, I keep telling everyone, SLO has more money then the know what to do with. Paradise at Prado!


It would be interesting for some church to challenge the city’s punitive attitude towards anybody but Capslo “managing” a homeless person allowed to park on church property. Surely administering to the poor is primary doctrine in most religions, and it’s a right guaranteed to churches by the Constitution’s first amendment, and the city couldn’t interfere — unless they want to get caught up in some losing litigation. I hope some church will do this, but I guess it’s not likely since most churches today operate more as clubs than as practitioners of Christian virtues, and we’ve already had many months of city prohibitions and so far no church has come forward to walk the talk.


i’ve done alot of social work. i give, they take. don’t see anybody trying to bootstrap. free is easy


Oh, hijinks. What an interesting idea.

Wouldn’t the CAPSLO monopoly, excluding churches from providing homeless services, be a violation of separation of church and state?


I especially like this part of the article:

“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.

Yeah, everyone knows that monopolies are always more price-efficient than other systems of commerce.


I don’t get this in 2008 CAPSLO was EOC, so why would she want her own agency kept out??