Homeless man demands $115,000 from CAPSLO

October 9, 2013
CAPLO's Dee Torres

CAPLO’s Dee Torres

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

A homeless man demanded $80,000 last month from the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) for turning him away from a homeless shelter because he had a service dog with him.

In two Sept. 23 letters, Jeff Stone demanded the $80,000 and $35,000 for bed bug bites that Stone said resulted in a MRSA infection. MRSA is a drug-resistant Staphylococus bacterium. The two claims totaled $115,000 from CAPSLO, a largely taxpayer-funded nonprofit that operates the Maxine Lewis Memorial shelter in San Luis Obispo.

Keeping Stone out of the shelter because of the service dog seems to violate fair housing law, said Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles Directing Attorney Barbara Schultz.

“If an individual with a disability has a bona fide need for a service animal, the shelter that refused him was violating federal and state fair housing laws by failing to provide a reasonable accommodation,” Schultz said.

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice adopted guidelines clarifying and refining the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). State and local governments, businesses and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go under the Act, the guideline to the law reads.

Jeff Stone and dog Boomer

Jeff Stone and dog Boomer

Stone claims CAPSLO homeless services staff denied him a bed at the Maxine Lewis shelter on or around June 13 and again on June 17. Stone told CAPSLO staff that his dog was a service animal and even provided a letter from a clinical therapist when demanded to do so, he said.

CAPSLO Chief Operating Officer Jim Famalette has since denied both of Stone’s demands.

But CAPSLO has stopped disputing the fact that Stone’s dog is a service animal.

In the response to Stone’s compensation demands, Famalette said that CAPSLO records show that Stone initially claimed his dog was a companion animal on June 17. Stone did not request a bed on June 13 or 14, he said.

Stone contends CAPSLO management changed its story after San Luis Obispo police officers arrived on June 17 and let him into the shelter.

Stone also got a written statement from a man staying in the shelter who said he witnessed staff deny Stone a bed on two different nights, he said.

“On June 13th or 14th, 2013, I witnessed Kim, the evening shelter manager at the Maxine Lewis Memorial Homeless Shelter in San Luis Obispo, CA turn Jeff Stone away from getting a bed for the night after Jeff told her he had a dog,” the CAPSLO client said. “Kim told Jeff Stone that it was the shelter’s policy not to allow any animals into the shelter.”

The witness also described the conversation between Stone and shelter manager Della Wagner on June 17.

“I heard Della ask for proof that the dog was a service dog,” the man stated. “I saw Jeff Stone hand a letter to Della. I heard Della tell Jeff Stone that his dog wasn’t a service dog, but some other sort of animal.”

After denying Stone entrance to the shelter on June 17, Wagner ordered Stone off the property on orders from CAPSLO Homeless Services Director Dee Torres.

Stone called the police and officers let him into the shelter, he said.

Stone stayed in the shelter for much of July. On the night of July 12 and morning of July 13, Stone suffered several bed bug bites on his stomach and right arm, he said. The bites swelled and became very red. Stone checked into the French Hospital Medical Center emergency room a week later, and a lab test determined that he contracted MRSA from the bites, he said.

Jeff Stone's MRSA-infected bed bug bite

Jeff Stone’s MRSA-infected bed bug bite

CAPSLO responded, saying that bed bugs do not transmit disease, citing the county’s public health department.

“There is no documented evidence that bed bugs transmit communicable diseases,” Famalette wrote.

But, Stone’s MRSA case marked the second time in one month that a homeless man contracted the drug-resistant bacterium from beg bug bites that occurred in the Maxine Lewis shelter.

Bed bugs bit then-homeless man Joe Olinde in the shelter around June 20. Olinde visited a Community Health Centers doctor, and the physician reported back to him that he had contracted MRSA from the bites, he said.

In 2011, Canadian doctor Marc Romney and research professor Christopher Lowe conducted a study on patients from an impoverished area of Vancouver who entered a hospital with bed bugs on their bodies.

Romney and Lowe tested five bed bugs that the patients brought in and three returned positive for MRSA. The other two tested positive for the drug-resistant bacterium known as VRE, they wrote.

“These insects may act as a hidden environmental reservoir for MRSA and may promote the spread of MRSA in impoverished and overcrowded communities,” Romney and Lowe wrote in a letter published by the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal.

Stone told CalCoastNews that he is in communication with attorneys and is considering filing a lawsuit against CAPSLO. In his September letters to CAPSLO, he also demanded full-page apologies from Torres, appearing daily in local newspapers for a week.

Torres did not respond to requests for comment.


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Boris

Because it sure is easier to sue someone, than it is to go to work everyday and support your own damn self.


SloHeadInTheSand

HEY TED….


Grover Beach did NOT shut down the People’s Kitchen….


By law they simply stated that the current location wasn’t working out and we’ll give you 45 days to find a better place.


What would Jesus do?… Burn the City Council in the sulfur lakes of Hades?


Ted Slanders

SloHead,


Essentially they have to shut down to be able to move. This is what Jesus was referring too in my prayer with Him the other night. It is ungodly to take one minute of time away from the homeless in this regard. Yeah, that’s it.


“What would Jesus do?… Burn the City Council in the sulfur lakes of Hades?”


Yes.


kayaknut

And your address is??? Brother Ted, so the Peoples Kitchen can set up in your yard or use your kitchen, or does your compassion have limits, like when it’s your money or space?


r0y

I am still unsure what “taxpayer-funded nonprofit” actually means…


Is not our entire government taxpayer-funded and have never turned a profit? (At least on the books, it doesn’t count “friends” and the benefits they receive).


This whole thing stinks every time it’s scratched… and man, does it itch.


SloHeadInTheSand

CAPSLO appears to be a private non profit that gets most of its money INDIRECTLY from tax payers and is accountable to NO ONE!


Mr. Holly

It’s where some folks make a whole bunch of money and the organization operates tax free. How sweet. Like the hospitals are for non-profit. Ever get a bill from a hospital? That is the best example of abuse of the system.


blondehare

” violating federal and state fair housing laws by failing to provide a reasonable accommodation,”

It stats this but it does not exist.. HUD.. DFEH… lied.. There are no fair housing laws..Some Parts of Government Should Be Shut Down Forever..http://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/category/hud/


Word

Your link LOL

Daniel Mitchell is a co-founder of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, works at the Cato institute, and is connected to the Koch brothers, ALEC and the heritage foundation.


He is one of the tea party terrorists trying to ruin America.


This is not a tea party branch, but continue to entertain us with fictional opinion’s.


SLOBIRD

Are you saying he falls into the George Soros, Nancy Pelosi plotter’s to just name a few PROGRESSIVES. There are moderates and conservatives in both political parties and then there are the extremist, Progressives and Tea Partiers! Both have extreme views depending where you are standing…


r0y

Totally! Asking for government accountability, questioning a massive surge in government growth… feeling people are taxed enough already… I’ve never heard such EXTREMIST, TERRORIST language!


We should really HATE these haters! We know we’re all equal, so we’re better than them!!1!


Right!?


:/


blondehare

Word..

Terrorists..?

Continue.. to entertain us.. ?


Inform yourself.. The Koch Bros, like Willard Romney and George W. Bush inherited most of their wealth. Yes, they may have built on what they started with, but they started with a huge pile nonetheless. Unlike Barack Obama, who came from a very poor, broken home and a mixed marriage, he literally pulled himself up by his bootstraps, unlike these lazy, privileged slobs. There is a very good argument for the government to seize the Koch Bros. wealth since so much of it was made in Stalinist Russia by their grandfather. They are literally enjoying the illegally gotten fruits of Communiust plunder, while masquerading as “champions of the free market”. Conservatives are so gullible and poorly informed, they don’t even know the personal history of these criminals and worship them like the false idols that they are!

Again.. I am saying.. Some Parts of Government Should Be Shut Down Forever.


r0y

Koch Brothers, CATO, et. Al. are libertarian-leaning groups. Perhaps in “words” limited world, anything outside of washington/sacramento insider politics is considered terrorism.


There is suicide bombing terrorism.

There is cutting your head off with a dull knife terrorism.

There is flying a plane into a building terrorism.

There is assassinating non-muslims in a shopping mall terrorism.

And, of course, there is questioning one’s own government terrorism.


Don’t you see?


Ben Daho

All my life, I’ve been the Good soldier. Teaching my kids manners and honor. Being honest and to please do not litter. I’ve quit well paying jobs because the mangement was corrupt knowing that “one day, they’ll get theirs” and I sit here in oceanio, watching these people constantly get away with things over and over and over again. the B.S. in San Luis about a relative getting picked for a job that was not posted to the citizens of the community and the excuse was “we just do that sort of thing” and it’s over. No one that was desperate for a job and lost said anything. no one that was qualified for the position said anything. BUT, a relative was qualified.. how? Oh, because they “just do that sort of thing”

when the honor has left us all, will you be able to say “I was willing, but I was all alone” ?


jrstone

I going to respond to you Mr. Daho,


When a community has all but given up on one segment of it, the homeless in this case, then that segment is open for any abuse without question. When a community gives up on the core value of the high value of human life and replaces it with outward hatred then it can only expect things like this to happen, without accountability.


Let me give you another example of this outward hatred without accountability; On Sept. 13th, 2013 at about 6am I was at the Edna Valley Market/Shell Gas Station on the corner of Broad and Tank Farm. I was in the middle of a vertigo incident induced by hypoglycemia (I’m a type II diabetic) and was extremely ill. I asked the clerk to please dial 911 for me and was soundly told NO! I again asked telling him I was diabetic and was in trouble and needed help. Again I was told NO! Someone, maybe me, made that call and I was taken to French Hospital where my blood sugar level was stabilized and I was released later that day.


I called the owner of the station, a Daron Brewer, and asked that he meet with me and his clerk to find out why he, the clerk, had not dialed 911 for me, Mr. Brewer’s response had me spinning again! His clerk was only responding to his, Mr. Brewers, instructions NOT TO CALL 911 FOR ANY HOMELESS PERSON, FOR ANY REASON, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! (The whole station knew me, knew Boomer, and knew of my houseless situation)


So, let’s put this into perspective; a community so apathetic that it will let a person die at its doorstep rather than picking up a phone and dialing 911 only because he or she is homeless is questioning how an entity such as CAPSLO can get away with what it does? Really?


We don’t count! We don’t matter! No matter our INDIVIDUAL circumstances we all stand the brunt of your, the communities, COLLECTIVE apathy, xenophobia, and inaction(s).


One more thing; when I asked Mr. Brewer how he could not justify getting me the emergency service I needed because I was homeless but justify taking my money from me when I purchased his products from his store he could only stammer! Much like this community does when asked why they hate so well…


Jeff Stone


unlisted

Oh, boy, another opportunity for a lawsuit!


Jeff must have been talking with Jared Molski.


Cha-ching!


jrstone

Unlisted,


As I have assured Mr. Brewer and I now assure you there is no legal actions forth coming, period! My only request of Mr. Brewer was a face first apology, something he will not do.


Jeff Stone


OnTheOtherHand

Did he give you a reason for his policy? Was it just to discourage the homeless from frequenting his business or did he have some liability concerns (justified or not)?


GalaxyTraveler

You write quite well, Mr. Stone. With all due respect, it’s hard to believe you can’t find employment with these skills.


jrstone

I am currently looking for a home… Putting 43 Prado Rd as your current address is one sure way of not getting hired in SLO… I have an income but it isn’t enough in this area… Hopefully next month I’ll get into a place


SLOBIRD

Good luck, Jeff! Glad you are working on turning it around. We should be encouraging people who are in a bad situation and trying to do better and yet recognize that help is not going to come from CAPSLO. Be a little supportive here, it does not cost you anything to be nice!


OnTheOtherHand

Thank you for speaking out Mr. Stone. There are a lot of people on this site that seem to think that all homeless people are either the result of a lazy, do-nothing attitude, drug-related problems or mental illness. As such they get real comfortable with generalizing their prejudices to all homeless people and ignoring the possibilities that significant numbers of them/you are a result of medical problems (resulting in bankruptcy and limitations on employment) or other forms of bad luck.


Given the bureaucratic nature of most employment processes, people without permanent addresses are subject to further discrimination and rarely hired — especially for “liveable wage” jobs in this area. While the Homeless Shelter and Prado Day Center do help, it is more difficult for a homeless person to have a presentable appearance for job interviews for other than “rough labor” as well.


On the other hand, there are a fair number of homeless people who do contribute to the general lack of sympathy with their actions and appearance. I wish there was an easy solution to helping those who can be helped, getting rid of those that won’t and finding a better way to deal with those that seem beyond help. However, I see no such solution. Broad,simplistic generalizations as an excuse to ignore someone else’ problems don’t work though.


unlisted

Jeff, I though some people helped you get a place months ago? What happened?


jrstone

I was led to believe one thing and it turned out to another… Where a hand up seemed to be offered it turned out to be a financial loan with interest I could not afford to pay back without starving. I backed out, without regrets, and am going in another direction. It was an opportunity that someone with more means than me would do well with and I only regret I am not better off financially so it could have been me. From what I understand the opportunity was made available to someone else and they took advantage of it and are very comfortable now. Good For Them! And more importantly, in my opinion, Good For The Person who made that available! There are some who do care….


SLOthinker

Josh Friedman, or anyone else, help me understand this.


In the first paragraph you say he demanded 80k for not allowing him to stay with his service dog.


In the second paragraph you say he filed two claims for bed bug bites that resulted in MRSA infection.


You don’t show any relationship between the service dog denial and the bed bugs.


Please clarify.


jrstone

Let me clarify…..


The two are not related, period. They are two separate issues that will be dealt with in two separated legal actions.


Jeff Stone


SloHeadInTheSand

SLOthinker,


I agree that the demand for money in this article is very, very unclear.


Is it a lawsuit, a violation of the ADA act and a demand for cash without an attorney…. ?


jrstone

In the process of filing a civil suit a settlement demand is one of many tools that can and should be used to try and settle a dispute before getting the courts invovled….


SLOTECH90

Over the last few years, since this fiasco began, any number of state, Federal, and Local

governing agencies supposedly have been made aware of the purported abuses, malf- esances, etc of CAPSLO. My question (non-rhetorical for a change) is: To What Avail?


Pelican1

CAPSLO needs to hang a sign out front that says: UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT


ironyman2000

CAPSLO is an incredible drain on SLO taxpayers. It needs to be disbanded and replaced.

It boggles the mind that such a vain and arrogant excuse for a human as Torres even

exists on this planet.