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Unjust Justice

Updated on November 26, 2014
A view of Bishop's Peak from Laguna Lake
A view of Bishop's Peak from Laguna Lake

America's Happiest City

The City of San Luis Obispo, located on the Central Coast of Califonia, has been labeled by USA Today and Oprah Winfrey, as America's Happiest City.

San Luis Obispo sits about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and about one hour north of Santa Barbara.

Thousands of tourists visit the Central Coast and San Luis Obispo every year from all over the world, and many have left the big city life and smog behind to enjoy the Mediterranean like climate year-round. When becoming a resident of the area, it feels like a special privilege, as visitors have to pay to visit here, but residents get to live here!

Every year campers travel to the Central Coast to visit the numerous camp grounds, State Parks, or beaches like the famous Pismo Beach.

The City of San Luis Obispo is home to the famous Madonna Inn, and Cal Poly University. Yes San Luis Obispo is a college town.

Some of the top attractions in San Luis Obispo County include:

•Hearst Castle

•Missions - Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and Mission San Miguel Arcangel

•Beaches – Avila, Cayucos, Morro Strand, Oceano, Pismo, San Simeon

•Wineries – Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo (Edna Valley & Arroyo Grande) Wine Regions

•Scenic Highway 1

In downtown San Luis Obispo, there are no parking spaces on the street where you will not find a parking meter, but there are parking garages and the first hour is free!

There are many small shops, no big department stores, and many local pubs and restaurants. On Thursday nights in the heart of downtown SLO, as the locals call it, they have Farmer’s Market. The local restaurants all line up their grills on Higuera Street and cook up some good food, like, ribs, chicken, and tri-tip!

One of the problems though with wanting to draw tourists in, is that when tourist want to see the city at night, or to visit one of the many pubs, there are only 4 choices to choose from after hours...Jack ‘N’ the Box, McDonald’s, IHOP, or Denny’s.

SLO has banned smoking in any part of the downtown area or in City Parks, and should you get caught smoking be prepared to get cited! You will find no drive-thru’s as the city has never allowed them to curb pollution. But despite all of the city’s efforts to keep up their glamorous image, something happened to tarnish that image.
Like other cities, San Luis Obispo has their city troubles, such as crime. Of course with college students, there will be drinking, and with excessive drinking comes various crimes, and of course, drug use. Often times, the college kid’s can get out of hand! And, like other cities, as much as SLO hates to admit it, the city has a homeless problem! Somehow the city has managed to earn the title of “The Happiest City”, and now they are trying to shoot for “The Friendliest City”, but either of those titles are far from the truth, well, that is unless you have money.
San Luis Obispo is a wannabe big city, a wannabe Hollywood. You will on occasion see a Maserati or two, or even a Rolls Royce or a Ferrari. Celebrities have been known to visit the city, but SLO Town is far from the glamour of Hollywood or Beverly Hills. But, amongst all the beauty in the city of San Luis Obispo, there is an ugliness and a secret that the San Luis Obispo City Counsel does not want anyone to know. They certainly do not want anyone to know how they intend to rid the town of the “ugliness”, as the means are by all means, unethical.

Plenty of shopping in Downtown SLO (C) C.J.Grace 2012
Plenty of shopping in Downtown SLO (C) C.J.Grace 2012
(C) C.J.Grace2012
(C) C.J.Grace2012

America's Happiest City

Madonna Inn Entrance sign. (C) C. J. Grace
Madonna Inn Entrance sign. (C) C. J. Grace

Madonna Inn

SLO's Secret

Earlier this year, there have been numerous complaints from the homeless who sleep in their vehicles, as many of them have received citations for “illegal camping”, because like many cities in California, San Luis Obispo made it illegal for anyone to sleep in their cars. So the police issued citations to many of the homeless, costing them $450 for the first offense and up. Of course, after the recession, the city has been “infested” with more homeless. Only very few of the homeless in this town are here due to the economy. See, a majority of the homeless in this town, have been here long before the recession, and most of them were on disability. Those that arrived here already on disability, came to this state because California is the only state that pays the highest benefits. Well about 50 of the homeless got together to form a group called the Homeless Alliance, and sued the city, claiming that they were being targeted by the police because they are homeless and the citations were unconstitutional. The homeless won their case, and on August 9, 2012, those that received citations beginning from January 2012, was dismissed, and those that already paid will be reimbursed. But now that the city lost, they had to find someway to get rid of the homeless, ALL the homeless. So, what brought on the city’s decision to get rid of the homeless?

"a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest - and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man" - Proverbs 6:9-11

As more and more of the homeless arrived in the City of San Luis Obispo, so did more of those homeless who lacked any ounce of respect for the community they have “taken over”. Many of the homeless have dirty, run-down cars, trucks, vans, and RV’s. And a large number arrived in RV’s! The homeless can be seen urinating in the streets, drinking, doing drugs and even dealing in any kind of illegal or prescription drugs they can to make money. A majority of the homeless carry a medical marijuana ID card, and smoke wherever and whenever they please. They can be seen pan-handling downtown, stealing water from local businesses and sometimes even from a private residence. They beg on street corners by “flying” signs, just to by their beer or vodka. Though many of the homeless are mentally ill, many are not but “claim” to be bi-polar, or to have back pain, only to receive SSI, though they may have little or no education, or little or no work history. Those who sleep under the bridges, have littered the creeks, those who have slept in the bushes, littered the area with toilet paper, living in complete filth, some even with small children and newborn babies!
After the citations were dismissed, many of the homeless took “illegal camping” to more extreme levels, by actually camping. They run their generator, place all their bags of belongings and recycables on the sidewalk, were people that work in near by businesses, must walk around them in the street, as they take up the whole sidewalk. They place their chairs and stools on the sidewalk at night and drink their beers, without any shame of their situation. Sometimes they even have a mattress on the car roof! They have no shame in their situation, and actually seem to enjoy being homeless.

The book of Proverbs describes a lazy person as a "sluggard". describes a sluggard as "a habitually lazy person".

SLO's Image Tarnished

Many of the homeless don't care how bad they look, or behave.
Many of the homeless don't care how bad they look, or behave.

History Lesson

Homelessness is nothing new to history. There were homeless during the time of Christ, only those people had physical deformities, were laden with illnesess like leprosy, blindness, and even mental illness.

In modern times we know that people became homeless due to addiction problems with alcohol, drugs, or gambling. However, these days, those who have had an education, and worked most of their lives, have been added to the homeless ranks. Either they were laid off due to budget cuts, or the retirees are unable to pay rent as the price of everything soars

For Those In Need

There are two place in San Luis Obispo to help those in need, the Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter, and the Prado Day Center. At the Day Center, anyone can come in off the street to get a free meal at noon, and lunch is not restricted only to the homeless, but to the low-income as well. To get daily access to the center, it is required to fill out an intake form with a homeless services staff member. There are restrooms with showers for men and women, you can have your laundry done in exchange for a small chore, and there is a designated smoking area for those who smoke, or to just sit and socialize. For those who wish to nap in the grass area, no one will bother them, for those with cars, they can nap until closing. Sometimes there will be clothes donations on the donation table, and there are computers for the clients, one to play games on, and the other is specifically for job searching. There is a medical van parked on the property for those in need of medical attention, and for those who do not have an address, the client’s can use the day center’s address to receive their mail.

There are no drugs, alcohol, weapons, or misconduct allowed on the premises, and failure to abide by the center’s policies, will be suspended for a specified time period, or banned indefinitely. Some who have been suspended, may pick up a sack lunch at the gate at noon. If you are suspended or banned from the Prado Day Center, that also extends to the homeless shelter as well, only one cannot pick up a sack meal from the shelter.

To NOT Help Those In Need

Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter in San Luis Obispo.
Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter in San Luis Obispo. | Source

Inhumane Policy?

Many times the homeless services staff suspend or ban a client without just cause. They tend to just dislike some people, and because of the staff members' personal feelings, too often, a person must go without food.

Sometimes, a police officer may cruise a street around the corner from the shelter, to write down the vehicles information of those who arrive before 5PM, as is the shelter's policy, bring that information to shelter staff, though it should be legal for anyone to be on any public city street, and due to the "violation" of arriving before 5PM, some people may be denied!

As was the case on October 1, 2012. About 7 to 9 shelter clients, arrived before 5PM, and one woman who arrived in her RV between 2:30 or 3PM. All 7 to 9 people were "written up", but they were not denied services, only one elderly man, a 79 year old retired man whose check did not arrive on time. Because his check was late, that man had no food. That gentleman was only suspended for that evening, but just the fact that he was denied food, is uncomprehensible! Especially when you know that a shelter is there for those in need. This is a practice though that occurs too often.

Helping People. Changing Lives

CAPSLO, INC. Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo
CAPSLO, INC. Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo

Helping People. Changing Lives.

CAPSLO - Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo has a slogan..."Helping People. Changing Lives." Yet their practices are anything but.

They have a program called Case Management, and only those with an income can apply. The clients who choose to be on Case Management, must give CAPSLO 70% of their income to save, in addition must pay $12 a month. They do not assist anyone in finding housing, the clients must do that on their own. Basically all Case Management does is guarantee the clients a bed, or keep them on the Prado Day Center's parking lot, in the safe parking program, and there are only 5 spots.

The homeless services has never required their clients to seek employment, because each and every homeless client, means money in the services pockets! At the Day Center, the clients are encouraged to sign in, even for services they will not be using.

In opposition to the city's wishes, it is even the homeless services directors' wish, to take in the homeless that were kicked out of another bring in more homeless!

Police Harassment Begins

The SLO City Counsel decided that after losing a case to the homeless, they must do something to get rid of the homeless, so on October 2, 2012, at their meeting that night, to begin to have the city place signs where the homeless are known to sleep, "No Parking Between 10 PM - 6AM", only that law cannot go into effect until the signs are actually in place. Nevertheless, that evening, the City Counsel gave the police the go ahead to start "harassing" the homeless, as the City wants to drive the homeless out of their town completely, by any means necessary! And so, that night, the harassment began. The only problem is that the first 2 people that were harassed, were not even in a car, nor where they asleep, and both of those people were working on their computer. The people harassed that night were just "convenient"! I was one of those harassed that night. So, I made a video explaining the incident that night.


A young black man by the name of Richard can be seen on McMillan Street in SLO, every evening about the same time...5PM. Richard is mentally ill and/or mentally challenged. Just about everyone that comes in contact with Richard gets upset with him, as he tends to talk and never stop. If you tell him to stop, he does not, if you tell him to go away, he does not. He just continues to babble on. Everynight, Richard can be seen with his hands in his pockets, pacing back and forth on the sidewalk, and has never been a threat to anyone. Richard may not be right in his mind, but he is completely non-violent.

Richard sleeps behind a business complex building, just like the one in the video below left, but opposite of that building. There are "No Trespassing" signs posted, but Richard does not understand that he cannot sleep there. So, around the last week of September, two SLOPD officers arrived, after a young man who was leaving his place of employment encountered Richard, called the PD, because he was not familiar with Richard. Richard will tend to "babble" on to strange people, and those who don't know him are afraid.

When the officers arrived, Richard was no longer behind the building, but pacing back and forth on the sidewalk, as if waiting for a ride, like he does every evening. The officer's were having difficulty communicating with Richard as he kept babbling on, with his hands in his he does every evening. The one officer eventually did manage to tell Richard "Richard, no camping behind the building, ok?". By the look on the officers' face, you could tell that they were not annoyed, and that they could clearly see that Richard is mentally ill.

The one officer told Richard to have a good night, and then both officer's left without incident.

Since that evening, actually quite often before, whenever the police patrol McMillan, they see the same thing everyone else sees, Richard, doing the same things that Richard does, paces back and forth on the sidewalk with his hands in his pockets, and sounds like he is speaking in a foreign language. Which by the way, Richard is from another country, only I did not find out his story until after...

October 17, SLOPD can be seen patrolling up and down McMillan again, and like always, there's Richard. The officer seems to be observing Richard through his rear - view mirror, but speeds off suddenly without incident.

October 18, at approximately 5:21 PM, SLOPD patrolling McMillan again, only this time the officer did not drive to the end of the street, this time he drove straight to Richard. After I was harassed without reason, I made it a point to keep a camera on my person, however, I was working on a project, on unstable ground, when I realized something was about to happen, and, of course as fate would have it, I didn't have my good camera set up!

The following video if you look closely on your left, you may be able to make out a tall black man. Some can see what's happening, some cannot, but more often than not.

I am still gathering more information as more continues happening every day, and with the new information I have regarding Richard, I am still trying to organize my material, but everything just keeps happening so fast. So, I have decided to go ahead and publish this Hub, and will just add the updated info as time allows.

BTW, I am working on getting Richard the help he needs, and hopefully, out of this town.

Richards past terrors, are no reason for him to be mistreated by those who are here to "Protect and Serve"!

more » HubPages

By Order of The City Counsel

McMillan is probably the most popular street where the homeless sleep in their vehicles.
McMillan is probably the most popular street where the homeless sleep in their vehicles.

Richard Is Released

October 19, Richard was released from the county jail, but not out of the woods yet, as he is facing about 5 charges. It seems he had a couple warrants for exactly the same thing he was arrested for, a few trespassing charges, resisting arrest. Only Richard was not trespassing.

About 15 minutes prior to his arrest, I found that Richard was on the Maxine Lewis shelter property, talking to a friend of his, when one of the shelter staff, Diane, who is known as a policy freak, saw Richard, and immediately called the police saying that Richard was banned, but was just seen on the premesis. Richard's friend told Diane that he would take Richard off the property, then told Richard to wait around the corner, that he would bring him a plate. Nevertheless, Diane called the police on Richard anyway, and even told the police that Richard was harassing the shelter's clients. I spoke to Richard's friend, and he confirmed that Richard was talking to one but him.

Several witnesses on the 18th, confirmed that Richard was not on shelter property, and according to what the shelter stated, they wanted the police to tell Richard to stay away from the shelter. There was no reason to body slam Richard the way they did. The police gave Richard the order to take his hands out of his pockets, but a witness who knows Richard, attempted to tell the police that Richard does not understand. Since Richard was way off the property, there was not even a reason to make contact with by the PD.

Now, being that Richard is homeless, everything he carries with him, is everything he owns. When an inmate is released from jail, they usually have to sign for their property to be returned to them. Only upon release, the jail does not return the property to those who are homeless, unless they pay a fee. Richards clothes or sleeping bag was not returned. Luckily though, his friend gave him his.

With the incidents that occurred during the month of October, and all the local news reports, and the city's homeless problem, the residents of San Luis Obispo have become divided. A city divided, is a city fallen.

There will be more to add to this hub.

more » HubPages

A Corrupt City Exposed.

I have had the desire to expose the County of San Luis Obispo for many years. I have relucted to write about the horrors that my family and I have endured in fear of retaliation.

I have known for well over twenty years that the County of San Luis Obispo is corrupt, but it was not until 2007 that I became aware of the corrupt activities in the city itself.

It has become my goal to expose the evil deeds that I have experienced. I have much to write!

It's All Over!

It's been well over a year now since I've had a roof over my head. We are still living as normal people should. We have heat now that the weather is cold again, and there are no complaints.

This past year, I have noticed more homeless people in the new city I live in, and though most prefer to be homeless, there are still many who would love to have a job, any job. I know, I've been there. There was a point in my life where I was willing to take any job.

I just found the following video in my Facebook feed, but the video does not include every city, such as San Luis Obispo.

I do not think it's fair to hassle the homeless that clean up after themselves, or keep to themselves and are quite.

I don't know if you can click on the link to see the video, but I posted it here anyway.


Submit a Comment

  • Shyron E Shenko profile image

    Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

    Chris, this is so sad. I thought I left a message here before, but I don't see it. I know some homeless people in Texas and Virginia.

    Blessings and hugs to you my friend.

    Thank you for this and for helping Richard.


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