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A day in the Life of CAPSLO

What is Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County or CAPSLO?

CAPSLO is “helping people and changing lives.” CAPSLO is a Head Start, helping the homeless, and improving the health of thousands of teens and adults. CAPSLO is helping eligible households save energy and money while staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer. CAPSLO is making sure our veterans have a safe place to call home. CAPSLO is assisting low-income seniors to age in place with increased accessibility at home and affordable, quality adult day care. CAPSLO is helping families access quality child care, early educational opportunities, and resources that help people become the best parents they can be!

While there is no way to tell the entire story in 5 minutes or less, this glimpse into “A Day in the Life” captures a variety of ways in which CAPSLO programs help people 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

Thank you Barnett Cox & Associates for producing this video!


Helping People, Changing Lives: Empowering Teens at Santa Maria High School

Project Teen Health participants at Santa Maria High School are advocating for healthier cafeteria food on campus!

Youth participants from CAPSLO's Project Teen Health (PTH) Club at Santa Maria High School submitted and were awarded a grant request from the Fund for Santa Barbara's Youth Making Change grant program to launch a school wellness intiative this past February.

Members of the Project Teen Health Club had improved their knowledge of healthy nutrition through participating in PTH programming, and felt the need to advocate for healthier food options in their school cafeteria based on what they had learned. Each month PTH Club Members hosted a booth with food samples providing education about different health topics such as Rethink Your Drink and MyPlate. They also posted motivational and educational messages about fitness in the bulletins and on posters around campus.

A new state law mandates that every public school have a wellness policy, and Santa Maria High School did not have one yet. PTH Club members educated their peers, created awareness about the law and recruited advocates to attend the district's first-ever Wellness Policy Meeting. With support from staff and their Youth Making Change grant, PTH Club students created a survey about the cafeteria food on campus and received 175 responses. They presented the results at Santa Maria Joint Union School District's inaugural Wellness Policy Committee meeting in front of a variety of school staff, community members, a school board member, and the district's assistant superintendent.

The survey found that 72% of the students reported eating regularly in the cafeteria. The top three words used to describe food served in the cafeteria: Nasty, OK, and Unhealthy. Students reported salads and sandwiches were "the best options" eaten in the cafeteria because they appear more "real" and they can be customized. The worst foods in the cafeteria? Nachos, popcorn shrimp, and fried fish. Changes students wanted to see included more fresh food cooked in the school kitchen, fresh fruit options such as watermelon, strawberries, and fruit cups, and a larger variety of food throughout the week.

Based on the results from the survey, PTH Club youth hope to provide nutrition facts on foods in the cafeteria so students can make more informed choices. They also reached out to the Food Services Director to share feedback and advocate for change. PTH Club will continue to review policy language and promote to students by giving other district high schools the school lunch survey, inviting them to report at the next meeting, and invite ASB officers to the next meeting. In addition, two PTH Club youth will be serving on their district's new Wellness Policy Committee.

While it is too soon to tell what institutional changes to cafeteria food might come from these efforts, the students involved with the PTH Club are empowered and will be able to transfer these new found presentation and advocacy skills on campus and throughout their community.


40 Prado - An Introduction

With nearly $2.9 million dollars raised, the capital campaign for the new homeless services center at 40 Prado Road is getting ready for its public launch! The center at 40 Prado will combine emergency shelter services and day services currently being provided at two locations – Maxine Lewis Shelter and Prado Day Center – and will also eliminate the need for overflow sheltering at local churches and synagogue. The center at 40 Prado will streamline current programs at a significant cost savings over time. Case management is the cornerstone of this innovative center, putting individuals and families on a path that will lead to self-sufficiency. First-time clients receive individualized plans, with a focus on permanent supportive housing

The following video, produced for 40Prado.org, offers a glimpse into who we serve and why we need the support of the community to help build the new center! The video closes with a call to text slohomeless to 51555. By participating, you will be provided with updates on the campaign's progress, including future opportunities to participate. Text messaging rates do apply and you may opt out at any time! Thank you for your support!


50 Years of Community Action: a Blast from the Past with SLO Grown

Album artwork for SLOGrown 2 with a cow on the coverCommunity Action staff have always been innovative and creative-- especially when it comes to stretching a modest budget to make the greatest impact possible or creating surprising collaborative partnerships across the community.

SLO Grown is an example of just such ingenuity! In the late 1970s, CAPSLO, then known as the Economic Opportunity Commission of San Luis Obispo County, created a community-based music competition and fundraiser. Local musicians composed and submitted original songs about San Luis Obispo and the winners were featured on locally recorded, produced, and pressed vinyl records that were sold to raise money to support program activities. Local graphic artists competed to be featured on the cover. SLO Grown #1 was co-produced by KZOZ and features a rare and original recording of a song by Alfred Yankovic-- better known as Weird Al!

Musician Louie Ortega with a guitar and a black hat

The first song on SLO Grown #2 is written and performed by Louie Ortega, a grammy-nominated artist and long time friend of Community Action who has contributed his time and talents for the Annual Afternoon of Epicurean Delights fundraiser, the California Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association Conference and the agency's 40th anniversary celebration at SLO Farmer's Market.

While it's hard to know how many records were sold or how much money was raised by SLO Grown, the memories and songs created by the project are priceless! CAPSLO recently tracked down the original vinyl recordings and is having them digitized so that they can be shared and enjoyed once again! Stay tuned for the re-release of these Community Action treasures-- a listening link and full album artwork will be shared soon!


Tax Season is Almost Here—Maximize your tax refund and get help preparing your tax return for FREE!

Three organizations offer no-cost tax preparation services in San Luis Obispo County, with sites as far north as Paso Robles and Cambria, and as far south as Nipomo. Beginning January 30, Cal Poly VITA and United Way VITA will be offering no-cost drop in services for individuals and families earning $54,000 or less. Cal Poly’s services will be offered on campus through March 12. United Way will have sites in San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, and Paso Robles, and will be open through April 2. AARP has appointments available at 9 sites throughout the county and will be providing services from Feb 2- April 15.

Families earning $53,267 and less may qualify for federal tax credits up to $6,242. Known as EITC, the Earned Income Tax Credit is intended to help lower income families increase their bottom line! And this year, for the first time, the State of California has introduced its own Earned Income Tax Credit up to $2,653. Even families who owe no taxes and may be exempt from filing are encouraged to file to ensure that they receive their EITC refunds!

Please see the attached flyers for more information about free tax preparation sites and EITC programs.

Slo Tax Sites


<Click Here for Free Tax Preparation Sites> <Click Here for EITC Programs >

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