SLO councilman rips city’s anti-panhandling campaign

September 9, 2014

homeless meterBy JOSH FRIEDMAN

A San Luis Obispo city councilman is criticizing the city’s latest attempt to address its homeless problem, calling a recent campaign a fundraising effort for a local nonprofit, rather than a deterrent for aggressive behavior in the downtown area.

In April, the city, along with United Way, installed meters in several downtown locations, allowing individuals to give coins or swipe credits cards as donations to the homeless. A subsequent city campaign attempted to deter people from giving money to panhandlers and to instead donate money through the meter system.

On Monday, Police Captain Keith Storton issued a press release announcing that the city raised approximately $8,500 through the donation meter campaign, and that officials would present a check Tuesday to the nonprofit Friends of Prado Day Center.

Councilman Dan Carpenter responded with an email statement to the media saying the donation meter program was just a fundraising campaign and not an anti-panhandling effort.

“Let’s call it what it is… a fundraiser for Prado!” Carpenter wrote. “Panhandlers are as prevalent and aggressive as they’ve ever been so please don’t suggest otherwise and insult those of who spend copious amount of time downtown.”

Storton’s release made no mention of whether a decrease in panhandling has occurred following the installation of the meters.

Friends of Prado Day Center, a fundraising arm of the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO), is expected to receive the majority of the funds collected from the donation meters. City and nonprofit officials will present the check Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at the Prado Day Center.

The city raised the majority of the approximately $8,500 collected through meter sponsorships. Meter sponsors include Copeland Properties, Mayor Jan Marx and former CAPSLO homeless services director Dee Torres.


There should NEVER be cash handed to anyone who panhandles, PERIOD. Consider doing what my wife and I do, buy them a sandwich and an orange juice if you feel that they are truly in need. You’ll see the true individual come out when you just hand this to them…..the truly thankful will be that, thankful and the scammers, well they’ll still try for some cash. (we’ve stopped doing this as the latter experience is not pleasant and is quite upsetting)

Stop the guilt and the pressure placed on us by those who choose not to move forward into a productive part of society rather than choose the life of drugs and/or alcohol.

Stop enabling the abuse perpetrated on our citizens by panhandlers and drug addicts and alcoholics.


I figured Dee Torres would be involved in this. Click here:


On Fox News yesterday there was a segment discussing Caren Ray’s comments regarding the Hobo Stew Dinner sponsored by Lynn Compton’s Campaign.

The biggest statement made by FOX was that SLO County had the third largest segment of homelessness??? Is this right? And if so, why??? This County gives a whole lot of donations, money and time not to mention the government financing and what are we getting for this?

Several of us at breakfast this morning were discussing these meters which the fish wrap reported the following:

“The majority of the money, $7000, was collected by sponsors of the meters…” (Jan Marx, Copeland Properties, Mary Parker, Dee Torres, and Eric Meyer).

In addition, the public donated ABOUT $752 (guess they couldn’t count the rest) at the meters. The remaining funds came from donors such as Dignity,

The program also donated $925 to Hotline.

There are seven (7) meters, the program started in April (April – August = 5 months) and collected $752. Good thing this is another government program because no intelligent business person would be operating this type of program! Just take the sponsorships and say THANK YOU! This is going to be a two-year pilot program, guess it will take that long for government to figure out it is costing them money to operate, but then, they don’t really care!

Dirk Anderson

There is supposed to be a certain natural social order. Personally I have achieved the longest hardest discipline I ever will. There is a Religious aspect to it: Biblical Greek, Sanskrit, Avestan etc. I love walking through Mission Square observing the various poop stained drunks the Catholic Church with all its wealth and real estate holdings apparently prefers?

You can’t even get a damn cup of coffee in this town. I’m at the Jack in the box this morning and I get a convention of these homeless puke around me. Several of them are homegrown, they are not transients and have done nothing but distort and scum up the environment the 6.5 years I’ve been here. This is the monthly SSI “nut” check cycle in action, the drugs, alcohol etc at the Hotel across the street. I had another one of the local born idiots screw with me for years, than he goes down to the Prado and “bulks” up on that food etc, none of which I get.

I’m presently in a “World” Class University Library, they show up here. It is every damn where.

If the present trends continue, I give this Country maybe 10 more years before it is so socially culturally polluted and distorted you won’t even recognize it.

I don’t want a damn thing from you idiots, for all practical purposes I have achieved my goals.


I will NEVER drop a coin or slide my card in one of these meters. This is one of the biggest scams ever perpetrated on the community and SLO visitors under the false pretenses that this will help the homeless and reduce/eliminate the panhandling downtown. If one wants to help the homeless there are many ways this can be accomplished and is a direct route to them. Where is an accounting of the monies the meters received? Who empties the meters? Brett? Who keeps the books? What are the “administration fees?”

Come on folks, this was a scam from the beginning and now comes the cheers from the folks that profit without oversight. This city is all about picking your pockets at every turn. Think about it!


The “homeless” at least the downtown begging “homeless” do not want more services at Prado Day Care, they want cash. For drugs, booze, cigarettes, etc. And someone should tell all the cardboard sign cadets that sitting on your butt, smoking, and playing on your cell phone is NOT going to pry the change out of my pocket.

Help those who CAN’T help themselves, not those who WON”T.


What a crock! $8500 raised for the day center to offer more services and attract more bums to SLO. Captain Storton is happy to make the announcement and present a check since he knows this keeps the bums out of his hometown of Arroyo Grande.

With the kind of money we pay the SLO police officers you would think they would live in the city that employs them.


I wonder if that “approximately $8,500” was gross or net? I suspect the cost to purchase, install, maintain and service those cute meters is far more than $8,500.


I believe all the costs associated with purchasing, installing, maintaining and servicing the meters was/is donated.


Purchasing? OK. Installing? Maybe. Maintaining/servicing? Doubtful.


It’s a;; free because the City of SLO donated, maintains and collects (means: YOU THE TAXPAPYER).


I didn’t see the meters on the list of Measure Y Capital Improvement Projects!

Vote NO on Measure G and end the lunacy at city hall!