Posted: Mon 10:58 AM, Feb 25, 2013 | Reporter: United Way Release Email
United Way Release: United Way Addresses Issues with The Shelter Board
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., February 25, 2013 – United Way of the Big Bend met with The Shelter Board’s Executive Committee to discuss the current issues and allegations that have been aired. The purpose of the meeting was to:
relay our strong belief that this community must have an emergency shelter that is fully operational and provides a safe environment for this significant at-risk population;
request detailed information responsive to a range of allegations that have been made about The Shelter; and,
insist, as The Shelter’s major funder, on development of an effective plan for moving forward to ensure the viability and stability of this important agency.
We were pleased that their members were extremely responsive to our inquiries, bringing their own current plan of action and updating us on actions they have taken to date regarding allegations made. They are working hard to address the alleged issues.
After our discussion of their current status, United Way requested the following of them:
1. Submit a Report that Addresses 5 Issue Areas
We posed relevant questions into five subject areas and asked that they submit a full report to us by March 1, 2013. There are specific questions asked under each of these subjects as they related to various allegations of abuse, mismanagement and safety issues.
a. Safety of the Facility
b. Sexual Harassment
c. Treatment of the Clients
d. Staffing Concerns
e. Moving Forward
2. Conduct an Independent Study of the Protocols, Policies and Procedures of The Shelter
This is to be done by an outside expert source, knowledgeable of homeless shelters and this at-risk population, and approved by both the United Way of the Big Bend Board of Directors and The Shelter’s Board of Directors. Source should have complete and total access to workings of the shelter, both administrative and program, to accurately assess current status. Timeline for this assessment is to be complete by April 30, 2013.
United Way has a long standing working relationship with The Shelter – providing significant funding to them through the Community Human Services Partnership to ensure that the homeless have safe shelter. The Shelter’s board representatives were agreeable to both of these requests and as such we are confident in our action plan and are moving forward in a positive spirit of cooperation, coupled with an appropriate sense of urgency.
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United Way of the Big Bend serves eight counties. In our 70 year history, we have invested over $100 million help those in need, and worked to find solutions for issues facing our community. Our work addresses basic needs, helps families become financially stable and provides opportunities for children and youth to succeed. For more information, please visit us online – http://www.uwbb.org – like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013 12:14 pm | Updated: 1:00 pm, Mon Feb 25, 2013 |WTXL.Com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The United Way of the Big Bend is requesting information from The Shelter after a blogger’s allegations lead to two employees being fired and the director being placed on administrative leave.
The United Way of the Big Bend provides funding for The Shelter, which is a center for Tallahassee’s homeless population. Officials from both agencies met to discuss The Shelter’s current issues and allegations.
As a result, United Way is requesting that the The Shelter submit a full report to them covering topics such as safety, sexual harassment, treatment of the clients, staffing concerns, and moving forward. There are specific questions asked under each of these subjects as they relate to various allegations of abuse, mismanagement and safety issues. The report is due by March 1, 2013.
United Way is also requesting that an outside expert source, approved by officials from UWBB and The Shelter, conduct a study of the agency. The timeline for that assessment is to be complete by April 30, 2013, according to the United Way.
In a United Way release, it states that members of The Shelter Board’s Executive Committee have been “extremely responsive” so far, and are “working hard” to address the issues. They add that they are “confident in our action plan and are moving forward in a positive spirit of cooperation, coupled with an appropriate sense of urgency.”
The controversy stems from a blog article called “Undercover at the Shelter,” written by Renee Miller. In the article, Miller says she spent all night at The Shelter and endured unfavorable conditions and verbal abuse.