More than $4 billion has flowed from City Hall to scandal-tarred shelter operators over the last eight years, accounting for more than a quarter of the money spent by the Big Apple to tackle its homelessness crisis, an examination of city records reveals.
The $4.6 billion in contract identified by the Post account for 29 percent of the $15.8 billion in contracts let by the Department of Homeless Services over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s nearly eight years in office.
The money has gone out to more than half a dozen shelter operators — including the embattled CORE Services Group — which have each been accused of issues ranging from failing to deliver on multi-million dollar contracts to executive profiteering.
Recent newspaper exposés revealed, for instance, that CORE’s CEO Jack Brown established for-profit vendors that paid him handsomely thanks to millions in taxpayer funds from CORE, which also employed several of his friends and relatives.
“The idea that public dollars are going to fund lavish lifestyles of nonprofit executives and their families, instead of helping the neediest, should outrage every New Yorker,” said an outraged Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn), who chairs the Council committee who oversees the DHS, when told of The Post’s findings.
“That money should be going to get families and children out of shelters and into apartments,” he added. “A child should not be spending a year and a half of their life living in a hotel room.”
For years, homeless activists and social service providers have argued that City Hall underfunded contracts to operate the Big Apple’s shelter system — and, compounding the problem, often failed to pay them on schedule.
That meant well-established organizations often refused to bid on the work, opening the door to less reputable providers.
“The amount of money identified and the amount of scandal suggests there are major, major problems with these contracts,” said John Kaehny, the head of government watchdog group Reinvent Albany, who called on the feds to get involved.
“Only federal investigators have the money and the resources to get to the bottom of this massive systemic failure,” he added.
Stephen Levin is outraged about all this, yet he was the one who was appointed to make sure that these "non"-profit provider executives would be grossly profiting off the homeless crisis which has exacerbated under his watch in the last 8 years. The Blaz couldn't find a better sycophantic feckless enabler.