In late August, an audit was released by the San Francisco city controller that found various severe issues at the United Council of Human Services, which offers hot meals at its Mother Brown’s Dining Room and supportive permanent housing in 35 Hope Houses scattered throughout the Bayview. The nonprofit received $1.5 million in city grants to help the homeless, but it hasn’t kept a clear record of where the money is going and could be in danger of losing its nonprofit status. The report cited $88,140 in expenditures that were misclassified, undocumented or submitted with ineligible receipts, along with a board whose members didn’t seem to understand how the organization was run. However, a top city official defended the organization and said it’s working to correct the deficiencies. Jeff Kositsky, director of the city’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, stated,
They’ve been very cooperative and committed to making changes.
The audit was requested by the city’s Human Services Agency, which oversaw the nonprofit for many years prior to Kositsky’s department taking over those duties last year. This spring, the Department of Homelessness enlisted the Public Health Foundation Enterprises to manage the nonprofit’s finances. That job had previously been done by the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA, which didn’t have as strong a role, and lacked access to critical financial records. The YMCA also struggled with accounting, and overbilled the city’s Human Services Agency $715 for payroll-related costs that should have been the responsibility of other funders, not the city. Hopefully the nonprofit will be able to fix its issues and continue to provide services for the homeless.