State-of-the-art homeless shelter on the way to SLO

December 8, 2014

CAPSLO CenterThe Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) is ready to seek regulatory approval for construction of its long-awaited homeless services center that is supposed to be a one-stop shop for San Luis Obispo County’s impoverished residents.

On Wednesday, CAPSLO officials will appear before the San Luis Obispo Planning Commission seeking a use permit for a proposed 150-bed facility to be built on a vacant lot across from the city corporation yard. The homeless center would consolidate the services currently provided at the Maxine Lewis shelter and Prado Day Center at the single location — 40 Prado Road.

CAPSLO’s plans call for a 20,000 square-foot facility that will include a commercial kitchen, dining room, laundry facility, offices, children’s play area, community meeting room and a lounge. The shelter component will consist of up to 70 beds for males and up to 40 for females, as well as an additional 40 beds separated in dormitories for families.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served daily.

CAPSLO case managers will work on site to try to secure permanent housing for homeless clients. CAPSLO has in the past required clients to turn over the majority of their income in order to enter the case management program.CAPSLO Courtyard

The nonprofit’s safe parking program, which allows homeless individuals to sleep in their vehicles at night, will also shift to the 40 Prado Road location. Currently the Prado Day Center, which CAPSLO operates, is the only location where the homeless can legally sleep inside their vehicles at night within the city of San Luis Obispo.

CAPSLO jointly purchased the vacant Prado Road property with the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority (SLORTA). A regional transit center is expected to be built on the lot beside the homeless center.

Prior to construction, CAPSLO must attain approval from multiple advisory bodies, as well as from the San Luis Obispo City Council. The council majority, though, has already endorsed the project and contributed city funds toward its design and construction.

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This is going to be the biggest magnet for homeless this city has ever seen.

It’s officially over for SLO if this thing gets built.. Maxine and Prado have done enough damage, this city is almost ghetto-level thanks to the services provided already..

Now it’s Breakfeast/Lunch/Dinner? Word gets out about this, this town is DONE.

We need to stop this thing.. if anyone is interested in really trying to stop this, and closing Maxine and Prado reach me at

Grace: Saw you on the news being passionate about housing the homeless because they are someboy’s sons and daughters…and you are correct.

That in itself does not translate into CAPSLO having the competence to deliver effective services.

Biz has played the “passionate” card for years and has worked, but we now understand that somebody other than CAPSLO should deliver the services.

It looks like a pretty expensive architectural masterpiece…What is the cost? What is the intent? A warm place to sleep and meals…

Smells of big government waste again..

It’s worse than that though- If built, this will likely at least double the homeless population in SLO.. causing double the usual “homeless problems”.. and completely destroying our tourism economy.. not to mention make this city feel not safe to walk in anymore.

It is interesting how many people have trouble making a distinction between the troublesome elements of the homeless population and the homeless population at large. Is it intellectual laziness or just bad thinking habits to group everyone different than you under a few simple labels and then use the worst elements of those “others” to condemn them all? This is a generalization applicable to groups based on race (scary black people), ethnicity (Latino moochers), religion (Muslim fanatics), political orientation (libtards, right-wing whackos) and even down to recreational preferences (gun owning nutcases, scofflaw bicyclists).

As it applies to the homeless, the aggressive panhandlers you encounter downtown are usually not the ones you will find in the shelter at night. Nor are the drunks passed out on the park lawns. The shelter turns away a significant number of people every night and has strictly enforced rules against drug use, being under the influence of alcohol and many other obnoxious behaviors. It mostly serves people who are homeless for a variety of reasons (bad luck as well as bad choices) and have no other realistic options and it is not big enough to serve all of those locally. A few of them may be troublemakers but they are discouraged from coming back.

A new shelter is badly needed as the current one is in constant need of repairs due to its age. An expanded new shelter will offer more of the EXISTING homeless population a safe place to stay for the night. Will it attract more from the outside? Maybe, maybe not. If it does, it is less likely to attract those who are the troublemaking type as that type won’t be tolerated for long.

The “troublesome element of the homeless” from all over the state and nation gets attracted to 3 meals a day near the beach, with good weather.

This city is done if this gets built.. We should be talking about shutting down Maxine and Prado right now, not building a mega-homeless center resort.

Unfortunately it’s not about helping the homeless, it’s about enlarging government and getting massive paychecks for those who run the place.

I wonder how many people have noticed the significance of who the CFO of CAPSLO is. It is Jim Famalette. Mr. Famalette was selected as the CEO of Gottschalk’s in 2007. The store had been around 100 years, and prior to him taking the helm, was facing a paltry 3.9% drop in sales.. Within TWO years, the company was bankrupt and within four, it disappeared off the map.

Here is some additional info from a commenter (Cherie Holm) on a old story: “six months prior to Gottschalks filing chapter 11; the CEO Jim Fammalette and board members all sold their Gottschalks stock. Gottschalks was a Fresno, California based family owned company from 1904 to 1989. From 1989 when the corporation went pubic; greedy CEO’s and Board members made poor business decisions and also starting cooking the books. Chapter 11 was filed on April 1, 2009; the CEO got a quarter Million dollars to stay on as an advisor. He defrauded Este Lauder Corporation and was never criminally charged. During this time he was still using the Corporate Jet for personal use, rent for Jet was $14,000 a month (which Gottschalks still paid to the bitter end). “

Don’t kid yourself folks… .this is merely going to be a light version of prison. In order to get a bed, people will have to give up their rights. Even in times when the homeless are few, this place will find a way to increase its budget and suck up as much tax money as they can.

All we needed was a covered building with some cots in it and a police officer on duty. Temporarily homeless families could have been handled in a much smaller shelter where support services to get them back on track.

Is it just my perception or are we constantly bombarded with “victims” that we are all supposed to feel sorry for and financially support regardless of the ever apparent fact that they created their own situation through bad behavior and poor decision making.

Yup.. and those victims are about to completely take over slo with their sad signs at every street corner and on every bench downtown.. Wonder why Madonna Plaza hasn’t kicked out the group of RV-dwellers living in their day in day out with their signs at the corner near Panera/ BW3..

It’s so over for this city and it’s totally due to SLO Council and Mayor.. sad times watching this city turn into a ghetto.

So here’s the rub for me regarding this whole idea of a 150 bed shelter;

CAPSLO’s program to date has not shown to be successful beyond feeding folk’s breakfast and lunch (these meals are provided by others by the way) their claim of getting folks transitioned into homes is not proven and on top of that they require 70% of ones SSI or other income before being in the program. CAPSLO’s program of support is one of “Referrals” to other programs within the city or county.

Why would we want to fund a bigger failed program? Yes, we taxpayers fund this via all the city and county tax dollars that are funneled into CAPSLO at every opportunity. Until CAPSLO can prove to me that they have a program that actually works, I say no new anything.

One last thing, for all the money CAPSLO gets for its “Homeless Services”, how much actual money is spent on items that befit the downtrodden? (BTW, CAPSLO with the help of the city and county have prevented the churches from providing services to the homeless because CAPSLO wants the monopoly money)

Food= Donated & Served

Clothes= Donated

Bikes= Donated

Tents, sleeping bags, blankets= Donated

Toiletries= Donated

Gift Cards= Donated

Internet for job hunting= Referral provided to another business miles away

Mental Health= Referral to county services

Many, many more……….

Just ponder this for a moment; were the current MILLIONS go, then consider this; if it’s not working now, why make a bigger failure before addressing the real issues.

Just my opinion

Ah, at last a critique with some specifics instead of vague charges.

What does CAPSLO provide for the ~$2.3million/year they spend on homeless services?

They operate a shelter which gives some of the homeless in this county a place to stay indoors overnight. It is old, falling apart and nothing fancy but for 50+ people it gets them out of the weather and off the streets while they try to deal with their problems. The proposed new shelter would be nicer but most of the accommodations would still be “barracks-style” dorms not apartments.

They operate a day center which gives people a place other than downtown and parks somewhere to go if they want to seek help for their situations. They also get access to a few computers for job searches and a few other things like laundry and bathroom facilities so that they can appear employable if they go for job interviews. It also provides a place for the People’s Kitchen to feed the homeless breakfast and lunch in a place that has less impact than if they did it at most churches or other sites. The proposed new shelter would also replace this facility with some upgrades.

They operate programs to assist people in finding jobs and housing. The success rate is far from perfect but is not as bad as you seem to believe. They are a central point to which people with limited resources can go to find access to programs offered by others. This may not sound like a big deal but many people in need spend so much of their time and energy on survival that they don’t know where or how to look for help getting things that will make their lives better.

Finally, you imply that CAPSLO acts territorially with regard to providing these services and pushes churches and other non-profits away from doing so. I don’t know if some instances like that have occurred but I do know that CAPSLO works with a lot of churches to provide services and gets a lot of support from them. Do a broad survey of churches if you think that is a misstatement. I don’t think they would be as cooperative or supportive if they routinely acted in the way you suggest.

Denny. You know so little about the reality of Homeless Services and the positive things they do for people on a daily basis.

Why don’t you be honest. It isn’t about how the homeless are treated or what CAPSLO does or doesn’t do. It’s about you not wanting to help the homeless. That is the bottom line.