CAPSLO bars alcohol and drug users from services

May 10, 2014

Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) announced plans to stop providing homeless services to those its staff deems to have problems with drugs and alcohol beginning on June 1.

The changes are slated to prohibit about 12 percent of homeless people who currently access services from receiving meals, a place to shower and other services provided through primarily government monies. Upon arrival for services, drug and alcohol tests will be rendered.

Formerly, people who smelled of alcohol were refused a bed at the shelter.

Over the past few years, CAPSLO has focused on building a larger shelter and not moving homeless quickly into housing. The banning of services to those who test positive for drugs or alcohol was proposed as a way to instead focus on helping people transition out of homelessness.

A national effort to reduce homelessness through a plan that promotes rapid rehousing resulted in a 4 percent reduction in overall homelessness from 2012 to 2013, according to a 2013 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report made to Congress. These programs focus on quickly helping homeless find employment, housing, mental health services and connecting them with social service programs.

San Luis Obispo County, with CAPSLO heading homeless services, is ranked third in the nation for the highest percent of homeless who sleep unsheltered and has bucked the national trend of reducing homelessness through rapid rehousing.

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

fishing village

I support and applaud this decision.


There are so many people who are subject to random drug tests as part of their job requirements, I have no problem with ensuring that people receiving services FOR FREE are also held to the same standard.


It also occurred to me this could be a ploy by CAPSLO, to increase the number of homeless not being helped by them, (by their choice”, so they can cry for more money when it comes time to build their new center on Prado.


from Kayaknut…. “this could be a ploy by CAPSLO…..”

I LIKE you sometimes, Kayaknut. You see conspiracy in CAPSLO. The entire THING reeks of malfeasance, mismanagement, overspending and conspiracy. I’m with you.


So I guess the amount of taxpayer money they receive can be reduced since they will be helping fewer people, right?


If anything, this move should improve the quality of services provided to those who are willing to stay off the drugs and alcohol and eventually get off the streets.


Improve the quality? we will have to wait and see, but certainly with fewer people being helped the amount of money they need will be less, less staff needed, less supplies. So we can conclude their next request for money, either from grants or directly from the county or cities should be less, by at least 12 %.


So is Dee banned also?


No. But more than likely she was the lead in this matter. So, if there is some question of it’s true intent one should probably start there. I don’t care what the public opinion has been about this woman, and I agree that some of that negative opinion lead to her demotion (if that’s what you want to call it) but I know it had more to do with what her “clients” were saying about her more than anything else.


As anyone who read the origional Tribune article knows, Dee has been on leave since she was demoted.


The article doesn’t really address whether the CAPSLO policies will affect those fed by the People’s Kitchen or not. Does anyone have FACTUAL information about this?


There is the case in fact that anyone under Capslo suspension or termination may not enter premises operated under Capslo, which includes access to the noontime lunches served by People’s Kitchen at Prado.

Capslo should cook and serve meals to their clients in-house at the new facility and disengage itself from leaning on the backs of the dedicated hard working elderly, whose mission of intent is to feed all who are hungry in SLO.


SLO County has more than 2000 people who are homeless every day and night. CAPSLO can serve less than 10% of the homeless each day. Since CAPSLO can’t serve everyone, I agree with them limiting services to those who are NOT drunk or stoned WHEN they come to their centers.


CAPSLO *can* serve everyone, but they would have to reduce their ridiculous overhead and salaries… but I guess it’s alright to let drunk or high people go hungry, maybe even starve, so people who work to serve the homeless can all cash in while they take forever to accomplish anything and meanwhile legally monopolize the provision of any services to the homeless?


For fifteen years, I lived down the street and around the corner from the Maxine Lewis shelter. And I can guarantee you, the chronic drunks and stoners do not go hungry. If they are turned away from the shelter, they just migrate downtown and panhandle until they have enough money to eat. Also, the Grace Church-based food bank doesn’t differentiate chronic drunks and druggies from those who are sober and truly deserving of assistance.

So no one really “starves”, that’s just a complete misnomer.

There were so many chronic drunks being “served” by the shelter that it was appalling in the morning to see the junkies and potheads leave the shelter, and immediately travel just the short distance around the corner to the Chevron station where they could go behind the building and smoke and shoot up like it was the most normal thing in the world to do to start one’s day. It’s gotten to a point now where Chevron built/installed an iron gate between the building and the edge of their property so junkies would have to stop using it as a “shooting gallery”.

I completely agree with ‘unlisted’, that food and shelter should be predicated on recipient sobriety, since taxpayers are funding the services and have to work for the money spent on the homeless in this town, and therefore have the right to expect that their money will be spent on the truly deserving, not chronic drunks and druggies.

And that remains true regardless of the level of overhead that CAPSLO operates with, whether relatively high or low.


I have no problem with what you’re saying, especially with regard to conditions for receiving taxpayer moeny, only the context which it seems to ignore. If CAPSLO hadn’t worked over the year to monopolize these services and discourage other parties from offering them, if the county hadn’t hassled Dan DuVaul so much, if the city allowed people to park in their cars and was not actively seeking ways to prevent/discourage people from giving homeless directly, then it might make sense. But what we have here is some greedy bureaucrats trying to work us because they now have the unfortunate homeless by the balls.


sleep* in their cars, i meant to say


People’s Kitchen: CAPSLO Service?

If People’s Kitchen wishes “to feed a hot noon meal to anyone in San Luis Obispo who is hungry” then it should no longer serve at any Capslo facility.


It is not possible for this organization, run by Mary Parker, to serve those who are suspended or terminated from Capslo services.

Their continued partnership deliberately enables Capslo to control and manipulate the homeless.

Mother’s day is Sunday. San Luis Obispo should show more compassion and allow these wandering children in our society to receive a daily free hot meal, uninhibited, whether or not they are addicted to drinking or otherwise.


I followed you until you wrote “San Luis Obispo should…allow these wandering children in our society to receive a daily free hot meal, uninhibited, whether or not they are addicted to drinking or otherwise.”

You are wrong.

If San Luis Obispo does not direct those “wandering children” to the path of sobriety, then it will serve as an ENABLER of homelessness and addiction, and that is morally wrong and a twisted use of public funds, which are supplied by and large by hardworking people who must get up and go to work every day, and overwhelmingly do so while clean and sober, so it makes sense that those receiving free food and shelter should conduct themselves in a similar manner.

I don’t spend my money on recreational drugs and alcohol, and I expect any government agencies spending money that they have taxed me to obtain to refrain from spending it on my behalf to allow others to go through life in a stoned or drunken stupor.

If you want to fund a private charity because you’re comfortable being an ENABLER, then please do so, but a social services agency spending public dollars should NOT be in the business of being ENABLERS of chronic addictive behavior!



It’s a proven failed method you speak of. Compassion, mixed with realistic expectations that set forth by either trained professional and or pier members, rather than the punitive directions to sobriety you speak of, are far more affective. It is a proven fact that the vast majority of those who are in the grips of addiction have mental health issues and more times than not are self-medicating. Keeping that in mind, when you add a punitive reaction more oft then not given out by an untrained staff member who’s probably been hardened by his or her daily interactions with these HUMAN BEINGS all your type of direction would accomplish is one that leads right back to connections house!

While I agree that housing someone with an addiction is not to the benefit of anyone, especially those who are in the midst of their first steps into sobriety, but not feeding them? Come on! What depravity have we seeped into? Seriously!


When it comes to food, everybody needs to be fed. End of story. I hope the Peoples Kitchen breaks off from these tyrants and serves the homeless as an independent provider. They don’t need CAPSLO.


Give a man a fish you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish,you feed him for life. Adults do not need to be fed. They need to feed themselves.


we feed each other