Report shows homeless languishing in San Luis Obispo County

January 8, 2014


San Luis Obispo County is ranked third in the nation for the highest percent of homeless who sleep unsheltered and is bucking the national trend of reducing homelessness, according to a 2013 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report made to Congress.

In San Luis Obispo County, 90 percent of homeless sleep unsheltered. Nationally, 35 percent of homeless sleep in unsheltered locations, the report says.

Nationally, since 2007, there has been a 27 percent decrease in the percentage of homeless who are unsheltered, the report says. During the same period, the number of people staying in shelters increased by less than 1 percent and the total number of homeless decreased by 9 percent.

A national effort to reduce homelessness through a plan that promotes rapid rehousing programs for homeless families and some adults and supportive housing for the chronically homeless has resulted in a 4 percent reduction in overall homelessness from 2012 to 2013, the report says. These programs focus on quickly helping homeless find employment, housing, mental health services and connecting them with social service programs.

In San Luis Obispo County, where efforts to help homeless have focused on building a hundred bed shelter and mandating that homeless agree to a case management program that requires they relinquish financial control of their income, the number of homeless increased 3 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to the SLO County 2013 homeless report.

A report released last year by SLO County’s Homelessness Services Oversight Council details the failures of the county’s “10-year-plan to end homelessness.” SLO County Social Services Director Lee Collins told the County Board of Supervisors in November that non-sheltered homeless people also stress county and private medical resources.

Supervisor Adam Hill questioned the validity of the county report and its depiction of homeless people. Hill argued that while the report noted the plan’s failures, it did not mention the people they had helped.

Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) homeless services director Dee Torres originally argued against diverting from the 10-year-plan and moving homeless funding efforts toward long-term housing. However, at the supervisor meeting in November, Torres changed her position saying she could support the plan as long as those placed into housing would be required to work with case management which she felt the county should not oversee.

Currently, homeless wanting to secure a bed in the homeless shelter are required to enter CAPSLO case management which mandates that clients dole out about 50 percent of their income to CAPSLO or an affiliate agency to be managed.



I’ll ask once more….When is the Grand Jury going to investigate CAPSLO? What is it going to take…the death of one of their “clients?”


Everyone seems to know the Grand Jury is a joke, little action even less power, and elected officials just ignore them.


It’s a starting point!


I agree. It provides us with a document to wave under the nose of public officials who we are trying to enlist to fix the problem.


I think the GJ is reasonably active. The problem is they have no power to force compliance with their recommendations, and we have a toothless County Board of Supervisors.


Taken from the SLO Superior Court’s Grand Jury website:

“The primary function of the grand jury is to examine all aspects of local government, ensuring that the county is being governed honestly and efficiently and that county monies are being handled judiciously”

It’s imperative that this investigative body become involved in the questionable activities of CAPSLO. This body serves a a system of checks and balances and must not be ignored.

Instead of handing out medallions and promising funding from who knows where, our SPINELESS (as opposed to toothless BOS, should be ensuring the proper oversight of CAPSLO and all of their clients.


If you really want to see how a homeless program should work just go online to:

This program is located in San Diego and you will see what a sincere and honest homeless program is like. They provide housing, education, food, health, employment, etc. for seniors, children, veterans, etc. Approximately 90% of the money collected is used to run the programs to for salaries. Their board of directors is community members NOT POLITICIANS with special interest.

The whole CAPSLO operation is a scam making people feel at their mercy when in fact this is public money and the operators are at mercy. Control this entire program out, hire professional administrators, accountants, with a community board of directors and dump at this cronyism. This is just a mess. Anyone that gives these people a dime is nuts. Me, I prefer to hand the homeless a $1.00 then give a $0.10 to the thieves at CAPSLO. At least I know who is getting my money.


“Torres changed her position saying she could support the plan as long as those placed into housing would be required to work with case management which she felt the county should not oversee.”

CAPSLO needs to get rid of this Power Freak and stop treating adults like children. Once people get into housing , this Control Freak goes around checking on them and will throw them out for any one of the many gestapo created violations Torres has created like allowing a friend to visit over night or sharing a beer. The person that needs to managed is Torres herself.

Jorge Estrada

If only 10% sleep in a shelter, maybe a bigger slice of the $63 million could fund help for the other 90%?


80% of their total budget is restricted to early childhood education programs (Head Start, child care provider payments, state preschool). Only 4% is for programs for homeless.


Ms. Granola, 4% or 40, the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (Capslo) has no business whatsoever handling the homeless. You fail to mention the utilization of volunteers which affect this enumeration.

Let’s look forward to the Federal government’s Office of Inspector General’s investigation into this organization’s practices. Without proof of accounting in Capslo’s Family Ties and Homeless Services programs, the probability of reprimand looks quite positive. Every responsible member of this organization should be required to testify in a Federal court. This includes Jim Famalette, Biz Steinberg, Lisa Niesen, and Dee Torres.


My only reason for bringing up the 4% vs 80% figure was to remind Mr. Estrada and others that, contractually, CAPSLO (and other grant or government funded entities) cannot move money from one slice of the pie to another.

Whether CAPSLO should or shouldn’t be in the homeless services business or whether or not a reprimand is in order is completely irrelevant to my original post.

And I don’t have a clue what you mean in regards to the “utilization of volunteer which affect this enumeration” (and it is not because I lack sufficient vocabulary or reading comprehension skills).


QUOTING ARTICLE: “In San Luis Obispo County, 90 percent of homeless sleep unsheltered. Nationally, 35 percent of homeless sleep in unsheltered locations, the report says.


Jesus H. Christ, that is absolutely SHAMEFUL. Clearly, Dee Torres and CAPSLO are not able to effectively and efficiently get homeless people into homes, even with insisting they needed 50% of the homeless person’s income to pay for doing what? Nothing?

The County must quit funding CAPSLO. The BOS are wasting our tax dollars on the CAPSLO approach to re-homing the homeless.



1. Highest unsheltered populations = States with the best weather

2. SLO County one of the worst in the state = More unsheltered in SLO than 10 states in the union.

3. Feel bad requesting 50%? Plenty of other places that require 0%. Go there?

Who has it worse? Sheltered living in -20 degree weather in Montana or un-sheltered living in SLO, San Diego, Hawaii? I personally would take the latter. Many homeless individuals are flocking to SLO yet we get scolded because we can’t take care of them as well as the entire state of Montana who has less unsheltered individuals?

Good reasons why SLO is ‘bucking’ the national trend.


Where in the world do you get the idea that homeless people are “flocking to SLO”?


Its called Math.

Montana 1 in 836 are homeless

California 1 in 290 are homeless

SLO County 1 in 125 are homeless

I consider this ‘flocking to SLO’

Kevin 99

Nope. According to the enumeration, 71% of the homeless in SLO County were living here when they became homeless. Other people posting here have the more accurate view: High cost of housing, limited housing availability. Bang.

For actual facts–instead of your version of math–check here:


The homeless are also being given bus tickets to slo from other areas, mainly Santa Cruz and Fresno.


is this an actual fact or a truthy assertion? (lie)


(Eyeballing her 10-year retirement plan) “Torres changed her position saying she could support the plan….” while Captain Positive chimes in “Adam questioned the validity (Insert project name here)”.


Homeless rate statistic wouldn’t have anything to do with Torres’s demanding a pound of

flesh to sleep in her “bug palace,” would it?


But the report fails to mention that SLO county has the highest paid homeless services workers. So that has to count for something. Even if our homeless suffer, many people are much better off due to the high salary and benefit packages provided by the guise of helping the homeless.


Remember we need to pay those high salaries so that we can hire the best and the brightest and keep those we already have. plus at least those high salaries are keeping those people from becoming homeless and thus having to get help of themselves…..


Bring that together for me chief. What correlation is there between salaries and sleeping under the stars without a home?


I am hoping that isoslo is being tongue-in-cheek in his/her post.

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