Bezos charity awards $5 million to controversial SLO County nonprofit

November 23, 2022


A charity created by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has issued a $5 million grant to the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County (CAPSLO) for housing homeless families.

Launched in 2018, the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund issues annual awards to organizations helping homeless families move from the streets and shelters into permanent housing. This year, the fund issued a total of $123.45 million in grants to homeless services organizations across the United States.

“This year’s Bezos Day 1 Families Fund grants go to 40 incredible groups working to end homelessness in the U.S.,” Bezos stated in a post Tuesday on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. “In five years, we’ve given more than $500 million to 167 orgs — helping expand their support of families in need. Honored to support these groups.”

A group of national advisors on homeless services for the Day 1 Families Fund selected CAPSLO as a grant recipient. CAPSLO plans to use the one-time grant funds over five years to create permanent housing for homeless families. Additionally, CAPSLO will increase its case management program in order to deploy more full-time housing navigators across the county, the local nonprofit stated in a press release.

“Over the last year, we have seen an increase in families at CAPSLO’s 40 Prado Homeless Services Center; it is great to have this additional funding to address the specific needs of families experiencing homelessness,” CAPSLO Board President Dee Lacey said in a statement. “As we establish additional services, the need for ongoing community support, county coordination, service provider collaboration, and resource development will be crucial to addressing the housing crisis.”


CAPSLO CEO Biz Steinberg released a statement saying the grant from Bezos’s fund is the most generous contribution the SLO County nonprofit has received over her long tenure with the organization.

“I joined CAPSLO in 1978 and never in my 44 years have we received such a generous and impactful gift from a private donor,” Steinberg said in the statement. “We feel honored to be recognized for our work in the community. This gift will help us expand our work housing homeless families in San Luis Obispo County.”

Despite the praise and contribution CAPSLO is receiving from one of the world’s wealthiest people, the nonprofit previously garnered criticism for obtaining most of its funding through government grants and allocating a large portion of its expenditures to employee compensation. Likewise, members of the local homeless community complained in the past about being forced to fork over income they received through government benefits in order to be granted shelter access.

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This is nothing but totally good news. The fact that some people want to spin it as something negative does our community absolutely no good and will discourage further contributions. This is a time and a place to be thankful and have gratitude. Anything short of that does a disservice to everyone.

A couple articles in the tribune from people at the Kansas Ave camp site don’t paint a pretty picture of capslo.

Millionaires rigging the game… never thought I’d see the people accept this in America…

The wealthy have always “rigged the game”. Is the view your expressing real or idealistic?

Glad to see that comments include an awareness of CAP-SLO’s rep for high admin salaries and low pay to unqualified people who deal with the homeless.

CAP-SLO is to the non-profit world what Micheal Blank is to CRLA who was disbarred for “discrepancies in his billing.”

I can think of several dozen better charitable organizations to give the money to. Also remember in Bezos’s tax bracket we, the taxpayers are donating half of these funds.

So I guess CAPSLO won’t be needing any taxpayer funds for the next five years??? Or at least the cost for an extra fork or mini shampoo bottle should go down for those at the Prado building.

Non Profit tax returns are available to the public, as is gov’t employee compensation.

Do you even know what CAPSLO actually does? They operate throughout the state working with under served communities. Homeless services are a small part of what they do.

You are critical of their reliance on Government funding. And seem equally dismayed that they received a non-governmental grant which eases their government funding reliance.

Just curious. Did you even have to get out of bed to file this article? A tidbit of news across the wire—a grant award by Bezos—toss in a little innuendo (CAPSLO sucks at what they do) and whalla ….click bait.

I don’t like Bezos. I will gladly take his money. You should be glad too.

You miss the point with your pointless criticism of the story. CAPSLO has a history of squandering its money on huge employee salaries and covering up the wrongdoing of key staffers.

I criticized the lack of new reporting in this article. A story is a work of fiction. I prefer reporting to storytelling.

One can tell a “story” around a campfire and it can be factually accurate. From your own comments it is clear you prefer “reporting” that reflects your own views. Quite illogical.

One may argue that equating the accuracy of Campfire storytelling to that of professional journalism is rather illogical.

“Please address the Policies, events and arguments, not the person.”

Sadly most of that $5 million will not trickle down to those truly in need.

The buzz words “community support, county coordination, service provider collaboration and resource development” mentioned by CAPSLO’s board president Dee Lacey will suck up that money very quickly.

So CAPSLO gets more grants, more donations, keeps their overhead/admin costs high…. keeps “collaborating and developing and coordinating”…

For CAPSLO, homele$$ne$$ is a actually a lucrative bu$ine$$