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SF Homeless Services Provider Accused of Fraud Is Stripped of City Contract

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A driver for Providence Foundation of San Francisco tours the Dogpatch Navigation Center on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, in San Francisco.  (Lea Suzuki/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

A San Francisco homeless services provider accused of falsifying tens of thousands of dollars in invoices was stripped of a city contract over the alleged fraud.

Providence Foundation of San Francisco will no longer manage a storage facility for unhoused people — a nearly $600,000 contract — Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) Deputy Communications Director Emily Cohen confirmed but will continue to run other programs.

The contract is set to end June 30, and will not be renewed, Cohen said.

“HSH spent months trying to bring this nonprofit into compliance, and I appreciate they have found a new operator for this contract to better serve the community,” City Attorney David Chiu said in a statement.

The move follows an announcement earlier this month of debarment proceedings against the nonprofit. An investigation by Chiu’s office found the nonprofit had falsified more than $100,000 in invoices for shelter maintenance work it never completed and violated its contracts with the city despite warnings over nepotism and other offenses.


The city had suspended Providence from bidding on or receiving new contracts or grants from the city.

HSH is working with the city attorney’s office to determine the future of the nonprofit’s remaining contracts. Providence has five other contracts with HSH, including one to run the Oasis Hotel family shelter, a navigation center and to provide supportive services and housing voucher programs.

The city attorney’s office investigation found that the nonprofit had falsified invoices for painting and lock removal work at the Oasis Hotel, which it claims was never completed.

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The attorney representing the foundation, Vernon Goins, did not respond to a request for comment. He previously told KQED Providence denied the allegations of fraud, calling them “unfounded and baseless.” He said the organization was cooperating with the investigation “and will take remedial action where appropriate.”

Providence’s board president, James Blanding, told the San Francisco Chronicle he resigned earlier this month and said Providence’s two top executives, Pat Doyle and Kenisha Roach, were put on leave. The city attorney’s investigation accused them of signing off on the allegedly fraudulent invoices.

Cohen said interim executive director Dexter Hall has been working closely with HSH since taking charge of the organization.

The city has ramped up scrutiny of its nonprofits in recent years. A city audit released earlier this year found HomeRise, a leading developer of housing for people exiting homelessness, misspent taxpayer money.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include additional information provided by San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing.

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