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LGBTQ Nonprofit That Got Millions From DC 'Deserted' as Employees Go Unpaid

LGBTQ Nonprofit That Got Millions From DC 'Deserted' as Employees Go Unpaid
(Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Sunday, 17 July 2022 02:26 PM EDT

A Washington, D.C, nonprofit LGBTQ shelter that took in youth and immigrants has shut down its operations after having its $839,460 grant discontinued from the city, in addition to donations, leaving questions about where all that money has gone.

The Casa Ruby nonprofit has closed all its programs, after the last board member resigned in April, and at least three workers have not be paid in six weeks, sources told The Washington Post.

The founder Ruby Corado resigned shortly after the shelter shut down last September and the grant was not renewed, when 10 youths were at the shelter, according to the report.

"It's deserted," employee of 10 years Kisha Allure, the director of its victim services program, told the Post. "We took in vulnerable individuals 24 hours a day when nobody wanted them. We had programs for people to literally build their lives back up. We had trans women who were D.C. natives, trans women of color, and we kept them in a safe space as the mission told us to do.

"The full respite care center for trans people of color — built by us, ran by us — is now gone in smoke."

Casa Ruby began during the Obama administration in 2012 with unpaid volunteers and grew to more than 100 employees. It was bringing in $4.2 million a year in revenue by 2020, and founder Corado was earning $260,000, according to federal tax filings, the Post reported.

There had been nearly two dozen grants, in addition to funding from the mayor's office, since 2015, according to the Post.

The Department of Homeland Security issued three grants totaling nearly $1.7 million in 2021 for transitional housing.

Emails obtained by the Post show Casa Ruby was not paying its bills on time, including a security provider Main-One Solutions.

Owner Brian Lassiter's "small, minority-run company" claims Corado still owes $38,000.

"We are in dire need of those funds," he told the Post.

One landlord, Francis Whelan, told DHS in March 2021 that Casa Ruby and Corado were "chronically late" or short on rent payments.

"We are in a very precarious financial position at this time and have to sell the house, pay off the mortgage and use the rest to keep our store afloat," Whelan wrote March 24, 2021, according to the Post.

DHS deputy administrator Tania Mortensen claimed the founder was out of the country and out of contact in an email to a debtee.

"Ruby Corado is out of the country and we have not had contact with her," Mortensen wrote March 23, 2021, the Post reported.

A DHS spokesperson did not respond to the Post's multiple requests for comment.

In addition to the grants, donations have flowed in through GoFundMe crowdfunding campaigns, including $130,000 and $108,585 before the D.C. shelter shuttered, according to the Post.

Corado announced she was stepping down via a Facebook Live video last October.

"With my advocacy, we changed legislation, we changed a lot of things," Corado told the Post in February. "The politicians used me and, I'm not going to lie to you, I ended up having a better life. I'm not going to deny that part. But it was never meant for me to be on top while the rest of the people struggle.

"The people who truly need me, guess what, they're OK with me."

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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A Washington, D.C, nonprofit LGBTQ shelter that took in youth and immigrants has shut down its operations after having its $839,460 grant discontinued from the city, in addition to donations, leaving questions about where all that money has gone.
lgbtq, millions, dc, nonprofit, corruption, lobby
554
2022-26-17
Sunday, 17 July 2022 02:26 PM
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