It’s good to see people asking questions about funding Torres Shelter

2 Feb

People have been searching for information about the Torres Shelter, especially “Brad Montgomery salary,” so I’ve been doing a little searching of my own. People keep asking me questions about the shelter – I became curious about who is actually responsible for running the shelter.

Torres Shelter is run by the Chico Community Shelter Partnership, a board of local folks who profess a desire to help the needy and get them off the streets and out of public parks. They are a “non-profit” and file a form called a 990 – here’s the latest filing I found, for 2013:

http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/680/680440819/680440819_201409_990.pdf

 I was floored to see, right there on page one, a total salaries and benefits figure of over $400,000. Wow. I heard there are 16 employees, I’m wondering how that pans out. I have no information about shelter staff duties. I do know, some of the people – mainly counselors – who work for clients of  the Torres are paid by different agencies, like Butte County Behavioral Health, and Northern California Catholic Services. Those salaries are not included in that $400,000 figure. 

 

I don’t know what the director position duties are, but with a lot of agencies I’ve learned, the director’s main job is fundraising. The biggest salary is usually the director. At other agencies I’ve looked into, like the Chico Creek Nature Center and the Blue Room, for example, the director’s salary was about $50-55,000/year.  

I did find out something about the board and staffers in their Summer 2015 newletter.

http://chicoshelter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Summer-2015-Final-Newsletter-1.pdf

Board Chair Joseph Hallett is a local  mental healthcare provider. Vice Chair Karen Betenbaugh, a resident of Capay, is married to Orland Edward Jones advisor Paul Betenbaugh. Treasurer Holly Pladson is a local CPA and teaches accounting at Chico State. Secretary Billie Kanter-Monfort is a retired Chico State employee, married to former Chico planning commissioner and CSUC retiree Kirk Monfort. 

Non officers include Jim and Kris Fortado, a retired couple, Lawrence Sullivan, a human resources professional, Pat Macias, a retired art teacher, former park commissioner Rich Ober, a software professional, and Tim Vander Heiden, who sells products that help businesses become compliant with the American Disabilities Act. 

I just thought we should  know who is running this place that is largely tax-funded. How they run it is another question. Here’s how they list “Staff”

“Brad Montgomery, Executive Director; Bill Slack, Shelter Supervisor; Dawn, Development Coordinator; Liz, Service Coordinator; Louise, Service Coordinator; Melanie, Service Coordinator; Krista, Shelter Coordinator; James, Friends House Manager.”

I only see eight names listed there, when there is supposed to be a staff of 16.  I don’t understand the reluctance of these people to use their last names – this shelter is funded with public money – look at that Form 990 again – and this is public information. Why so shy? 

What a snoop, huh? Well, you should be so snoopy. Tonight Brad Montgomery is going to do what non-profit directors do – he’s going to try to hustle a paycheck out of city council. Your money, you should be interested in how it is being squandered. Or not. 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 Responses to “It’s good to see people asking questions about funding Torres Shelter”

  1. Brad Montgomery March 8, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

    Hello everyone, I’m Brad Montgomery, the Executive Director of the Torres Shelter. Not sure who wrote the article above because it wasn’t signed but I wish they would have just contacted me with their questions at brad@chicoshelter.org or come in for a tour of the Shelter to see firsthand what we do here. We are quite transparent and I would have answered any of these questions honestly and gladly. The message focused on salaries. The highest salary at the Shelter is mine. It was $65,000 before the cutbacks we did on 1/27 and it is $50,000 per year now. I think both are quite reasonable for the responsibilities of my position to safely provide shelter and related services to more than 700 people in crisis per year and providing more than 35,000 nights of stay per year. We had 19 staff people before our cutbacks on 1/27 and now we have 16. I think most people reading this would believe that running a 365 – 24/7 operation where there are more than 100 people per night staying with us and staying with us safely is pretty efficient, and frankly remarkably frugal. We don’t charge our guests for any of the services or products we provide because we want them to save whatever funds they have and be successful when they leave us. We average a success story every 33 HOURS meaning someone moving from the shelter into their own places. We spend about $25 per day/per person. That’s very efficient. Can anyone reading this imagine a scenario where they can cover someone’s basic daily needs with just $25 per day and provide case management to help them leave us successfully at the same time? Another way of explaining this point is that we spend an average a little more than $1000 per person for their entire stays with us. Spending $1,000 per person to give people a legitimate shot at starting over and not costing our community $25,000+ per year EACH by staying on our streets seems to me like really good public policy because we are both helping people have better lives and save our community money in the process. The post also stated that we are primarily funded by public money and that’s inaccurate. The majority of our funding comes from voluntary donations from people, businesses and organizations in our community who voluntarily support our efforts because they believe in our mission and that’s always been the case and always will be. However we do feel there is nothing inappropriate in asking the City, County, State and Federal governments to also support our efforts because we save each far more financial resources each year then we ask for. As far as keeping some of our staff’s last names confidential, that is my policy. It is to protect the safety of as many staff as possible because not every guest we serve at the Shelter every year is safe or respects boundaries. That is a reality of our work. As far as non-profit directors “hustling for a paycheck” — hmm. Please come to the Shelter to see what we actually do, how successful we are at it and then decide if I hustle more to have a quality program that actually benefits the community or hustle more because I’m looking for a paycheck? Thanks, Brad and I can be reached at brad@chicoshelter.org if anyone has questions.

    • Juanita Sumner March 9, 2016 at 6:32 am #

      Thanks for commenting.

      I’ve been to the shelter, I’ve seen what you do down there, and I don’t like it. My daily needs might add up to more than $25 a day because my family is on the hook for almost $10,000 in property taxes a year for all kinds of support programs out of the city and the county. I don’t think we need your shelter, I think it brings people here who would not come to Chico otherwise.

    • Juanita Sumner March 9, 2016 at 6:40 am #

      I write the “articles” on this blog, I think it’s pretty easy to find that out – Juanita Sumner.

      I don’t contact you privately because I want the conversation to be public Brad, no backroom bullying.

      Thanks for your comments. You do get public money – you get salaried county workers there to “counsel” your clients. You also get help from other agencies that get public funding. Face it, you are funded by people who can hardly afford to stay in their own homes. You put your hand in my kids’ college money Brad, that pisses me off, pardon me if I slap it.

      • Brad Montgomery March 13, 2016 at 10:43 am #

        Hello Juanita, We save far more public money then we get or spend. We save far more volunteer community money then we get or spend and we help people move forward and regain independence in the process and there’s absolutely nothing we do that takes funds from your kid’s college money. I think this is just a general statement about taxation and not really about us? By all means, slap whatever hand you’d like – but maybe check and make sure it’s the right hand? And if you think I’m a “backroom bully?”, I kind of get the feeling you’d change your mind if you actually knew me. I don’t bully anyone and I’m fine having this conversation in private or public, just thought you could get the honest answers directly from me to your questions and not have to “wonder” how much I get paid, when you can just ask me how much I get paid? I get that you are mad, just unsure why you are mad at us when we are both saving our community money and helping people help themselves? As far as people coming to Chico for our services, that’s just wrong. The homeless problem is not growing in our region because of us. It’s not growing as fast (which would cost you far more) because of us. If you want to know why I can state that with conviction, just ask. Please consider whether or not your anger is directed accordingly. Thanks, Brad

      • Juanita Sumner March 14, 2016 at 5:20 am #

        I think if you really wanted a conversation you’d respond to a current post.

        Are you trying to insinuate that you don’t receive public funding at the shelter? In one search I found a position offered through the Northern California Catholic Social Services that pays about $42,000/year to council patients at Torres Shelter. You must admit you get public funding, and I’ll admit, I resent my taxes being spent this way.

  2. Brad Montgomery March 14, 2016 at 1:47 pm #

    Hello Juanita, The program you are discussing is where we share a clinician (hired and supervised by NVCSS with the Jesus Center that provides mental health treatment to people who have a mental health diagnosis and experiencing homelessness. We have this clinician part time and frankly we could use more than one in our environment 🙂 The program is funded with MHSA dollars exclusively which is a specific program dedicated only to mental health initiatives in the State of California and funded through a tax only on millionaires in the State of California and so I don’t believe either of our tax dollars are going into this funding. In fact, the only governmental funding we receive are actually federal programs with dedicated funding and I can’t think of any governmental funding that we receive that impacts local property taxes or impacts the general fund. And I never stated that we receive no governmental funding, I have shared honestly and often that until recently we were getting about 35% of our funding from governmental sources (all from sources that have no impact on local property taxes) and our current situation has moved that from 35% to currently 15%. I’ve said repeatedly that the majority of our funding has and always will come from people who make voluntary donations to the Shelter because they support our work. And I will also add that due to the amount of governmental funding we save our community in so many ways, I certainly see nothing wrong if we did receive more support from governemental funding then we do, as long as we don’t rely on it too much and become too dependent on it. Anyway, the governmental funding we have traditionally received is as follows. CDBG – around $15,000 per year (federal monies that gets dispersed by Cities or Counties around the country. FEMA – about $13,000 (federal monies that each community has a board to make allocations). PATH funds – $88,000 – federal funds raised with a private/public nonprofit partnership. And the ESG grant that we don’t know if we will get this year, don’t know how much the allocations will be and don’t know if we will still be eligible for due to the program changing. Again, a federal program, administered by the state that no local taxes go into. The last allocation from this grant was for $200,000 but that was the highest allocation ever and was for a time period stretching for more than 2 years. Not sure why you mentioned I should respond to a different post, more recent post? I’m responding to the ones answering the questions you’ve raised in each. Thanks, Brad

    • Juanita Sumner March 15, 2016 at 5:21 am #

      https://chicotaxpayers.com/2016/03/10/bits-and-pieces-readers-questions-lead-me-to-some-interesting-reading/

      I don’t want my tax dollars to support you, whether I pay them as income or property taxes. I don’t think “rich” people should be on the hook to provide salaries for people who make a living facilitating this kind of behavior.

      How much rent do you pay, by the way, for the city-owned property on which the shelter sits?

      • Brad Montgomery March 18, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

        Hello Juanita, Can you explain the comment “make a living facilitating this type of behavior?”. As far as rent we pay. The City of Chico leased us this land for no cost back in 2003, 6 years before I came to the Shelter. You made the statement in one of your posts that we were getting your property tax money. I have demonstrated that statement to be inaccurate. Instead of sharing that you were mistaken, you changed your objection. I believe that when the Chico Taxpayer’s Association is speaking about taxes, they should be accurate. I have shared openly, as I always do when people are interested; what funding we do get, where the source is and what we use it for. If a federal program exists that we are eligible for, do you want us not to apply for it? Do you not want us to bring that funding we are eligible for into our community? And again, all of our governmental funding from all sources is normally less than 35% of our operating budget and this year will be about 15% and so it has never been the majority of our funding and never will be. Most of our funding comes from and has always come from compassionate members of our community that see we are helping people move forward and voluntarily want to support our efforts. I made it a condition of accepting my employment at the Shelter in 2009 that we would do a 3rd party independent audit each and every year. I have the audit for each and every fiscal year if you would be interested Juanita. Thanks, Brad

      • Juanita Sumner June 12, 2016 at 5:11 am #

        my spam folder was full of Brad this morning.

  3. Brad Montgomery March 22, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    Hello Juanita,
    You deleted my response to your last post on this subject? I guess you didn’t like it. I know I didn’t swear and I wasn’t rude and so I guess you just didn’t respond to what I wrote and decided deleting my post was easier than responding to it.

    • Juanita Sumner March 22, 2016 at 5:35 pm #

      I told you, this is an old post, you are the only person reading this, and I feel like you are harassing me. Do you get paid to harass people who criticize the shelter?

      I’m turning the other cheek Brad.

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