February 15, 2023

USA: San Francisco Homeless Nonprofit CEO Accused of Lavish Lifestyle, Ignoring Drugs and Sex Work. You Don't Say...🙄 Why Do You Think The Homeless Problem Persists? Who Benefits? 🤔

AP published January 1, 2023: San Francisco is being sued for allegedly forcing homeless people to move and discarding their belongings when it doesn't have anywhere for them to stay. An estimated 7,800 people without a home in San Francisco, a politically liberal city that has become an emblem of California's staggering inability to counter the increasing numbers of people living in tents and in cars. Homeowners, businesses and local leaders are frustrated with the encampments, which they say present a public health hazard and block others from using public streets.
The millions that are being wasted given to the corrupt private homeless non-profit organizations could have been used to directly get these people the mental help and housing they need. I wish officials would investigate what mental institutions are dumping the mentally ill onto the streets of California. This has nothing to do with lack of affordable housing. These people are not from the area. They were brought here and dumped. Are the mental institutions out of state still collecting money from the federal, state, and local government for them on their books?  Why hasn't anyone asked the homeless people where they are from and asked them for identification? (emphasis mine)
The San Francisco Standad published November 28, 2022: Former San Francisco Nonprofit Investigated for Financial Mismanagement. United Council of Human Services, a former nonprofit organization meant to house the homeless, was recently audited by the City Controller's Office of San Francisco for financial misconduct. Improper prioritization for housing placement, mistreatment of documentation for its tenants and the overbilling of its fiscal sponsor are just a few of the infractions that the audit found.
California Political Review
written by Stephen Frank
Tuesday February 14, 2023

More proof you can get rich working for the homeless Industrial Complex. Equal proof that the homeless are not helped by the rich, greedy, non profits.

What connections to the corrupt San Fran city government did he have to get away with this for so long?
I added the tweets below. (emphasis mine)
San Francisco Standard
written by Josh Koehn
Friday February 10, 2023

A lawsuit filed this week accuses the director of a San Francisco nonprofit that shelters and feeds homeless people of misusing funds to support a “lavish” lifestyle while drug use and sex work allegedly went unchecked at the organization’s housing sites.

The complaint against the United Council of Human Services (UCHS)—formerly known as Mother Brown’s Dining Room—and its CEO, Gwendolyn Westbrook, was filed Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court and comes just a few months after a city audit raised red flags about the organization.

UCHS has received tens of millions of dollars in city and federal grants over the last two decades, but its use of those funds was poorly documented, according to city officials. In November, City Controller Ben Rosenfield and City Attorney David Chiu wrote a letter to the FBI and District Attorney’s Office urging the agencies to open a criminal investigation into UCHS, which had its charitable status suspended by the state Attorney General’s Office last summer.

Noel Robinson, who worked for the organization and is the plaintiff identified in court filings, accuses Westbrook of “living a lifestyle inconsistent with her reported salary,” which was $155,000 a year in 2015.

Westbrook allegedly told staff that she has purchased and paid off multiple vehicles in recent years, including a Tesla for herself, a Jeep Renegade for a close family friend and two vehicles for cousins while also gifting an Infiniti SUV to a niece. Meanwhile, the lawsuit states, Westbrook was known to drive around with “a trunk full of high-priced jewelry” that was obtained from one of the nonprofit’s board directors.

Brian Berglund, the board director and the owner of St. Andrew Jewelers in Concord, did not respond to a message left with the business requesting comment. However, the company’s website has a note about UCHS’s work in between testimonials and a promise to help customers “find that special something for that special someone.”

Other notable expenses in the complaint include Westbrook allegedly paying for multiple in-vitro fertilizations for a relative and family members’ weddings.

Forms filed with the IRS show that UCHS has routinely failed to disclose how large sums of money were spent, and the lawsuit notes that a federal tax form from 2019 showed $2.1 million in “other” expenses that were not detailed as required by law. The Standard reviewed UCHS tax filings with experts who said the accounting raised “huge red flags” and showed “incompetence.”

In 1997, Westbrook pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars in parking lot collections from the Port of San Francisco.

Robinson said he was suspended and eventually fired in May of last year after raising concerns about the behavior of Westbrook’s nephew, who became a UCHS resident and employee after getting out of a Texas prison. Westbrook previously told The Standard that around 20 of her friends, family and employees were occupying housing that is designed to go to San Francisco’s neediest residents. The city controller’s audit found that some UCHS residents did not go through the proper protocols to gain access to housing.

Westbrook’s nephew allegedly started confrontations with Robinson and others at a recreational vehicle (RV) housing site at Pier 94 in addition to consuming drugs on the property and bringing in sex workers. The complaint notes that Robinson raised these concerns with Westbrook on multiple occasions, but he was told to “leave my motherfucking nephew alone!”

The organization saw its city funding skyrocket last year, according to the complaint. On Feb. 1, the city issued six new grants worth $36.4 million to the Bayview Hunters Point Foundation, a nonprofit that serves as the fiscal sponsor for UCHS and was named as a defendant in the complaint. The grants included almost $10 million in funding for the Pier 94 site where the alleged drug use and prostitution occurred.

“[Robinson] feared the self-dealing practices he and others had observed in Westbrook and her inner circle would not only continue, but increase and threaten the future of the Pier 94 shelter he had spent two years building and protecting,” the complaint says. “Conversely, Westbrook and the Company appeared to recognize the threat a whistleblowing employee would pose to the increasing grant money.”

Robinson said he has suffered physical and emotional distress since he was fired last spring, and Westbrook allegedly began spreading false rumors about him. He is seeking damages for wrongful termination, retaliation and defamation, among other claims. Past fiscal sponsors for UCHS, including the Bayview Hunters Point Foundation and Heluna Health, were also named as defendants.

However, Bayview Hunters Point Foundation officials told The Standard that it recently came to a settlement agreement with Robinson and rehired him.

Westbrook declined comment when reached by phone Thursday afternoon.

Shawn Richard, a deputy director for UCHS, called The Standard on Thursday evening and disputed the allegations in the lawsuit, noting that an internal investigation found that Robinson was the one violating the law.

“Noel was doing something illegal he shouldn’t have been doing, and it got back to [Westbrook],” said Richard, who did not start working for UCHS until October of last year. “He felt he could just do what he wanted to.”

The complaint states that Westbrook falsely told people on multiple occasions that she had fired Robinson for stealing Capri Suns, calling her a “bitch,” selling trailers and drugs, and “trading Company property for sex with homeless women.”

An attorney for Robinson declined The Standard’s request for an interview.

Richard said that Westbrook “never was in control of the money” for UCHS and city officials have blown matters out of proportion in calling for a criminal probe involving the FBI.

“There’s always two sides to every story,” Richard said, “and actually there’s four sides—because there’s four sides on every corner: the truth, the lie, the middle and the person who really knows what’s going on.”

San Francisco Standard
written by Josh Koehn
Tuesday February 14, 2023

A week after city officials issued new rules that could pull contracts from San Francisco nonprofits that ignore state reporting requirements, one supervisor took an additional step Tuesday by introducing legislation that would enact the policies into city law.

The proposed ordinance from Supervisor Ahsha Safaí comes after The Standard reported in December that nearly 140 nonprofits were holding more than $300 million in city contracts after having their charitable status revoked, suspended or tagged as delinquent by the state Attorney General’s Office.

Nonprofits that receive more than $100,000 per year in city funds would be required by Safaí’s legislation to file paperwork with the City Administrator’s Office to show they are in good standing with the state. This was a common practice in the city up until 2011, according to Safaí’s office.

The new law would also require the City Administrator’s Office to post compliance forms and tax summaries filed with the IRS on a publicly accessible website no later than July 1 of each year.

“While we have a great network of City-funded nonprofits that do amazing work, taxpayers expect that nonprofits will perform the work well and comply with federal, state and local law,” Safaí said in a statement. “This common-sense legislation protects taxpayers and increases government transparency by making sure the City validates public information from our federal and state partners before spending one cent.”

Last week, the offices of the City Controller, City Attorney and City Administrator issued a range of new guidance to ensure San Francisco’s nonprofit partners that are not in good standing come back into compliance or risk losing public funding.

The new policy places the harshest scrutiny on suspended and revoked nonprofits. The Standard’s reporting identified five nonprofits whose status was revoked and two more that were suspended as of December. Those nonprofits had pending contracts worth more than $645,000.

The policy gives city departments 30 days to determine a transition plan for those nonprofits, which may include terminating their services immediately. The departments also have the option to transfer the services to another city nonprofit supplier or work with the suspended or revoked nonprofit to develop an action plan for them to return to good standing before a June 30 deadline.

The vast majority of San Francisco’s contractors that fell out of good standing with the state have been classified as delinquent. These nonprofits, which totaled 132 as of last December, now have until June 30 to fix their status with the state registry. Until they do, they will not be able to enter into any new contracts with the city, though departments are still authorized to issue purchase orders under existing agreements to the delinquent organizations.

Some of the delinquent organizations’ bad standing dates back years. The Attorney General’s Office placed 30 city-funded nonprofits under this status before the end of 2020.

🚨👇 BONUS 👇🚨

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