SLO transit forks $1.5 million to CAPSLO homeless center site

April 3, 2014

capsloThe San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority committed $1.5 million Wednesday to the purchase of a Prado Road property that the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo will use to open a homeless services center. [Tribune]

SLORTA and CAPSLO will jointly purchase 40 Prado Road for $2.2 million. In addition to serving as the site for the future homeless services center, the location will become a transit maintenance and dispatch facility.

The vast majority of the money the two agencies will use to purchase the property will come from government funding. State and federal grants obtained by SLORTA by way of the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments will account for the entire $1.5 sum that the transit agency is contributing.

CAPSLO has already secured $250,000 from the San Luis Obispo City Council to use for the purchase, and it is expecting a matching contribution from the county board of supervisors. The remaining funds will come from donations raised by the newly created Homeless Foundation for San Luis Obispo.

The proposed homeless center will consist of 200 beds, a commercial kitchen, laundry facilities, showers, storage space, offices for caseworkers, multipurpose rooms and a children’s classroom.

CAPSLO settled on the site after a proposed location on South Higuera Street prompted community backlash.

The announcement of the purchase agreement comes three weeks after CAPSLO reorganized its homeless services division and demoted its homeless services director Dee Torres.



Doesn’t CAPSLO require the people it helps to turn over everything they get from SS, pensions, retirement, whatever, before they help? Whatever happened to the old guy who said CAPSLO ripped him off for 40K? Is this why they want a 200 bed facility? 200X40K=8 million bucks!




Capslo’s 200 Bed Institution

Moving forward on the 200 bed Homeless Services INSTITUTION coming to the city of San Luis Obispo, a self-serving project

provided graciously by the unregulated local nonprofit agency , Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, and backed by a wealth of unsuspecting supporters.

Capslo provides no clear answers to end homelessness and provides no public explanation as to how this facility will effectively help to accomplish the task.

The tax paying citizens of SLO should have the right to vote on this issue. The complex can only serve to house qualified low income applicants for future permanent housing, which is slow in becoming and not clearly able to keep up with the increasing influx. And yes, build it and the attraction will generate an even greater increase of all types of the homeless. The word of it will spread “like flies.”

Finally, if People’s Kitchen is the designated group assigned to run the facility’s commercial kitchen and wishes to provide a daily hot meal to all who are hungry, I question how it plans to feed every one of them if there are missing people due to Capslo’s ludicrous unregulated, unsupervised rules. Unsuspecting victims of conflict are easily suspended for another’s actions and this results in days or even months of being denied a free hearty meal, cooked individually by humble volunteer church members and such. Unpaid.


I’m trying to organize people to stand up against this shelter and close Maxine and Prado..

We should get something going:


Has anyone posting on here ever been homeless? I have, and I can tell you it is the most humiliating and soul-less experience one could ever have. Not so much because it is so hard just to get food, a shower, and maybe even wash your clothes-not that-but because you truly realize how hateful and selfish people are; how focused on money they are-and that kindness and compassion is dead.

Back when the depression hit, others never made fun of those down on their luck. They didn’t even question their circumstances; they just offered a helping hand. In many parts of the world outside the US, you rarely even see a homeless person. There is always a barn or an extra room, or a bunkhouse on a farm or ranch. People care.

I got my life back on track, but I still shun people in general. When I was down on my luck, some people threw things at me and yelled things out their car window. This country is so void of compassion it makes me feel sick just remembering how horrible that was.


Indigo, I’m sorry for your anger or hurt from your experiences. God may quietly address those who threw objects at you or at any non-threatening homeless person.

May I explain anger from another side? I have anger and hurt, TOO, over the ^%$^@#^% SACKS full of CASH the welfare and tax system has taken from my family and I over the years. I RESENT being the one of the FEW persons paying cash at the market while people around me get free food (Calfresh) which my family paid for in taxes. This applies, in my observation, to places like Morro Bay, L.A. county urban stores, and society-wide. Typically I’ve observed them roll their cart of free food out to a nicer car than mine, not to a tent. Those of us who have our money hijacked and distributed to free food via taxes have our own opinions.

BTW, I cannot claim to have ever been homeless. Thank you Lord. When young I couldn’t afford even a “single” apartment, I split a place and worked HARDER. I wound up OWNING apartments. No big deal, work 60 hour weeks and you’ll get there too.

I have compassion for the hurt which is obvious in your post, and put my money where my mouth is: I currently have a single parent tenant whom I’ve not raised the rent on in all of her FOUR YEAR tenancy, forgiven all late fees, so I’m not a scrooge, but I also resent the FORTUNE that is taken from those pulling the cart and GIVEN FREE to those riding inside the cart. (Sorry for the Republican metaphor).

Bottom line: Charity is good; many of us with a few bucks ahead of the game practice charity and we give back to our fellow mankind, but enforced confiscatory taxation and wealth transfer is not. Most of the posters on here are not greedy, they simply may be tired of governmental WASTE and confiscation. Marc posts a brilliant (and brief) one on 04/03.

Sorry for the long rant, but homelessness and helping is an important, complex issue.


Where was your family during this situation?


This is yet another fleecing of the taxpayers. Why not negotiate with the city of San Luis Obispo to park and maintain buses at the city owned facility across the street. Why does every little transit agency need its own high priced facility. SHARE and save tax dollars. The homeless hotel is an absurd waste of money. Build it and they will come… This property will some day be prime real estate. Do not take it off the property tax rolls.


I see no reason for a 200 bed facility, all this will do is fuel the inefficency of the organization running it,it is inefficent already, and why do we need to house 200 bums here, if you build it they will come, now I believe we need to help our people from THIS area but what is going to happen is that the creek dwellers are what we’ll be putting up with,I’ve said before, fence the backside of Cuesta Collage and house them there to be bused to town if they have a job and whe possible send them back to the town,city,state where they came from.

Once this monstrous thing is built we’ll never be rid of the whole problem,it won’t get better.


Myself seems like a ripe sociopath. Probably would like to intern the homeless in California Valley behind the solar farm with no water.

In reality the 200 bed facility would be empty. who would, even homeless people, want to be housed in a CAPSLO Jail with fascist monitors watching their every move.

Myself and I do agree that this facility is an idiotic waste of tax payer dollars.

SLO as usual…


From your broad description of them as “bums,” I take it that you are unfamiliar with the homeless community except for the portion that creates problems. Try volunteering at the shelter or the Prado Day Center or with the People’s Kitchen to get a more honest perspective — or is it asking too much of you to go to some effort to verify the accuracy of your assumptions.

The proposed shelter would (roughly) double the capacity of the current one which regularly turns away numerous people who would like to stay there. At current demand levels, some of the beds might go empty but that could change if we have another economic downturn or if the city/county grows. Realistically, it could attract SOME people from outside the area but there are other ways to deal with that problem.

Also, some of the “creek dwellers” are not going to want to use the shelter no matter how many beds are available because they don’t want to put up with rules that crimp their style or have psychological problems interacting with groups in confined areas.


Since you go there to help,where are these people from,are they from SLO or SLO county,if so why are they there,I know there is a hundred reasons,If there not from here ship them out. Who is getting turned away from the facilities we have now,again if they are creek dwellers get them out of town,I know they all come here because of the vacation climate, but if this 200 bed freebie gets built we’ll see a lot more freeloaders,half of these bums ride the transit buses and live under the bridge at San Simeon they come to town in the morning to bum all day then ride back in the evening,it won’t take long and we’ll be the freeloading capitol of the country.

I’ll bet if they were shipped out to Carissa plains we wouldn’t have them hanging around here.

Building a 200 bed facility is not the answer, crapslo can’t keep control of what they have now and we should give them more, the waste that will go on will be unreal.


Wow – you are really something. Obviously your name says it all “MYSELF”!! Almost 70% of the homeless are from SLO County. Are you going to pay to have them “shipped out”??


Bill Thoma and crew should be good for at least a million, right? After convincing the right politicians that this center wouldn’t work a 1/4 of a mile away on land already owned by the gov’t, I think they need to be generous. What say you, Mr. Thoma and company?


Does anybody ever check the facts before they report. The $1.5 million was not “forked” over to CAPSLO. That is the amount RTA is paying for their portion of the property. CAPSLO is responsible for coming up with their portion of the cost. Yes the City has “forked” up some cash for the property, as they should, and the county should follow suit. Please get your facts straight before you speak.


The definition of “fork over” is simply to pay money, usually a large amount of money. Which RTA DID pay a large amount of money to CAPSLO for their portion of the Prado Road development. The article clearly states that a RTA maintenance and dispatch facility is to be built on the property.

So the term “forks 1.5 million to CAPSLO” was properly used, and the reason for the payment was clearly described. So all “the facts” were correct in this report, and there was no error in reporting.

Maybe “wing2wing” should get his/her “facts straight,” instead of acting upon that bad case of knee-jerk-reaction they seem to be afflicted with.


“Fork over” has, in my experience, negative connotations of an action being done reluctantly. Also the money is being pooled with CAPSLO’s money for the purchase of a property. I don’t think that it is being given TO CAPSLO which is what the phrasing implies.

A more objectively-worded (but less rabble-rousing) statement would have said something like “RTA commits $1.5M to joint purchase of property with CAPSLO.”


Please!!! RTA did NOT pay CAPSLO anything. They are purchasing the land with CASLO.


Wing is right. The $1.5 million is NOT going to CAPSLO. It is the RTA purchase price to be paid to the seller of the property, which appraised for $3.25 million, but is being sold for $1 million less at $2.25 million.

The lot will be split in escrow to create two lots, one owned by the RTA and the other by CAPSLO.

The initial deposit to open escrow was paid in full by CAPSLO-$50,000.

To verify go to the staff report from the April 2 board meeting at or watch the meeting at


I hope they get a good fence around the RTA facility. I may not be PC, but I’m a realist.


No surprise here. RTA board of directors contains same folks as every other board in this county: Frank Mecham, Board of Supervisors, District 1; Shelly Higginbotham, City of Pismo Beach; Debbie Arnold, Board of Supervisors, District 5; Tony Ferrara, City of Arroyo Grande; Bruce Gibson, Board of Supervisors; Adam Hill, Board of Supervisors, District 3; Jamie Irons, City of Morro Bay; Jan Marx, City of San Luis Obispo; Tom O’Malley, City of Atascadero; Debbie Peterson, City of Grover Beach; Fred Strong, City of Paso Robles; Caren Ray, Board of Supervisors.


Good location! They can come in on the freeway from all the other communities for the night, have a hot meal, shower, do some laundry, catch a movie at the drive-in, sleep, and catch the bus to Avila, Pismo, Morro Bay, etc. for the day only to return for the night.

Then SLO will be complaining about all the homeless in their parks, Mission Plaza, etc., apply for more grants, build a bigger warehouse (I mean shelter) and keep the cycle going. These are the jobs of the future, social programs need more government employees. This cycle is only starting and will grow and grow and grow.

I firmly believe each community should build, monitor and take care of their own and not develop a Community of Homeless in one location but giving it to SLO would be the place to do if it moves forward. Just don’t whine once it is in your backyard!


Two problems exist with your theory.

First, the NIMBY culture in SLO does not tolerate “the homeless” well and most of these folks are also unwilling to deal with the problems that lead to homelessness (addiction, mental illness, lack of appropriate skills, some disabilities, etc.) personally.

It is just much easier to let someone else handle it “somewhere else” — even if it means forking over a few more bucks in taxes or donations. I agree that your solution would be a desirable one but it is not realistic.

Second, I think that you are misinformed about the nature of the homeless here. That is not uncommon because, as with many group stereotypes, it is the bad actors who get all the attention.

The proportion of the homeless that are “attracted” to SLO because of the program here is probably much smaller than you think. There are some, certainly, and may be more if a larger shelter is built. But there are also plenty of home-grown homeless. The solution to that would be to require a county “residency” requirement of “X” months to receive services. (The nature of the homeless “community” would keep such a policy from operating perfectly but it would help to discourage wandering transients.)

A fair number of the homeless are actively trying to improve their lot. It is not an easy thing to do as everyone from employers to landlords tend to discriminate against people who are homeless because it is an easy way to reduce risk when hiring/renting. It is much harder to go to the trouble of checking out people as individuals and who wants to do that when it is a sellers market for jobs and rentals. Still, there are success stories, and CAPSLO has helped produce some of them despite what you might think from reading this site. (I personally met one such person at a business I patronized last year and he told me there are others as well.)