United Way Investigating Homeless Shelter 'Very Collaboratively' With Shelter Board

Feb 27, 2013

The major funder for a Tallahassee homeless shelter that’s being investigated for possible unsafe conditions is calling for an independent study of the situation. The United Way of the Big Bend is joining with The Shelter to make any necessary changes.

United Way President Heather Mitchell said, she was shocked at the allegations of mistreatment and sexual harassment by Shelter employees against an undercover woman. The claims appeared in a Tallahassee Grapevine blog post two weeks ago.

But after Mitchell met with the board of The Shelter last week, she said, she’s glad to hear its managers share the United Way’s goals.

“This community’s got to have an emergency shelter that is fully operational. And it’s got to be done in an environment that is safe for this at-risk population that we’re dealing with," she said, "so we’re working very collaboratively to get there.”

Mitchell said, The Shelter board will present her with a report by the end of the week, responding to all of the allegations. And the two organizations are looking to hire an outside expert to conduct a further review of The Shelter’s policies. Also, a Tallahassee Police criminal investigation is ongoing.