Complaint Review: Volunteers of America-Colorado - denver colorado
Volunteers of America-Colorado Homeless/Client Abuse denver colorado
This took place from 2015 to 2017:
Was a client of theirs from 2015 to 2017. Am a veteran that served from 2008 to 2012 that has been abandoned by the VA system. Had a social worker by the name of Rose Mcquiggan through that process who would socially, mentally, economically and systematically abuse me on all fronts to keep me from being "to challenging."
She told me I would never be able to afford the market rent in Denver or even hope to make more than she ever did. I once even reported one of the VOA volunteers for being sexist and abrasive towards me and was only gaslighted by Rose claiming it was more likely just his humor and I probably just took it the wrong way since I'm "challenging." She also at one point tried coaching me about what I could do with my own body. She actually sat on one of my chairs in my house and rocked her chest back and forth pushing her b***s out and told me, "you can do that." I didn't even know what the hell to say.
She would coach you on how to be poor. If you had one role of paper towels and needed more, she would ask why do you need so much and then condescend to you with how little you really need. And god forbid you asked for a king soopers to get you through when you had no money. She ended quitting after I submitted more than 30 pages worth of complaints about her and the organization at Bannock.
This place does nothing but teach Low Lives Skills Classes on the who, what, when, where, why and how of what it means to be homeless, poor, struggling and everything else. They are solely preoccupied with doing nothing but beating people upside the head with their, "quit being poor ideology." And "avoiding an audit." No one was more notorious for trying to impart this onto clients than the manager Lauren Bernstein and representative Kathy Malloy.
VOAs demographics are made up of predominantly African-Americans, Latin-Americans and other nationalities with White being a minority. It was not a coincidence that the majority of the populace in the group worked in labor. It was nearly 75% of the group. I was the only other person enrolled in a white collar program at a local university and I was one of the only White kids in that group. That was not a coincidence either.
I recall coming into VOA Bannock on certain occasions to come across questionable meetings between Kathy and some of the clients. I overheard Kathy once telling a young African-American couple not to go into rich neighborhoods as they would pollute the neighborhood and they may have the temptation to steal. These were the clients she was talking too.
I also recall at a class one of the teachers even pulling the same sh*t on the whole group Kathy pulled on the couple in private. Telling the group, who were predominantly Latin-American, to stay out of Wash Park as they would get the police called on them for loitering or polluting the neighborhood.
Lauren Bernstein also did this to me individually over a telephone conversation with how she spends time at Wash Park to work on her projects and tried to intimidate me with how "if she saw me there," it would not be good news. As if you have a f**king right to try and police my movements and choices. They were more concerned about avoiding an audit then they were about helping. And yet, its so hard to believe the stories of victims that walk into their offices everyday looking for help? Try again.
I ended up being dropped as a client by VOA and an ex-therapist that helped me to retain rental assistance through VOA all within less than six months of each other. Despite petititoning thier office mulitple times on several occasions to be extended or reset to be able to continue working and also to prevent myself from ending up homless. They seriously came off at me acting as if I was trying to scam thier system for simply wanting to avoid ending up homeless. It was because of the absence of the ex-therapist to "verify" or more like "approve" of the help I was asking for; and the offices deliberate neglect and dismissal of my claims as false, that lead to me ending up homeless and losing everything I owned in 2017.
The ex-therapist that I had. Had been my private counselor for a short period of time before I came to VOA and was my counselor for more than two years after I was initially set up with VOA servies. She was supposed to be helping me heal from trauma and also to work on building a better life for myself. She and the office at VOA had had regular communication in regards to my needs and how the entire program was working. This therapist's clout and influence in the office at VOA drowned out any voice I may have had going into VOA. As any time I even honestly spoke up or made the point of asking for help it was met with nothing backlash, speculation and suspicion that I was scamming them or something.
Her word trumped any sort of influence mine would ever have in that office. Lauren Bernstien was the overseeing supervisor of VOA Bannock at the time (and to my knowledge still is). And after I split from my ex-therapist due to abuse I had suffered from her and was running out of assistance from VOA. I petitioned thier office for more time to be able to continue working and figure out a soloution and to also avoid not only ending up homeless but avoid an eviction on my record. It was when I went to ask for more time that Bernstien conviently asked me if they could speak to my ex-counselor about this just so they could "make sure" everything was "legitimate."
I told them that I did not consent to them talking to my ex-therapist and made clear that if they had any questions they could talk to me. I wasnt about to tell them about the split considering how much they were always looking to get me with sh*t to only abuse me with. Just even simply asking for the help you need gets you labeled as "challenging." And only further blackmarked as being a "problem." When the poor, infringed, vulnerable, abused or otherwise demand whats needed; its "challenging," "abusing," "etc." When its everyone else, its simply "asking for help."
I sat in an office in the middle of winter staring at Bernstien while she said this to me after I had hauled all of my paperwork in-in a yellow suitcase into thier office essentially begging for more time. As she sat and stared at me with a fascious look and conviently had to try and dismiss me by circumventing and asking for my ex-therapists take on all of this instead of mine. As if my word counted for nothing. There were other employees there from VOA Corp that could only sneer in support of Bernstien. I even recall Bernstien remarking about how "watch you try and tell other people" and about how "no one would buy it." If I shared this. They then started in on how it was time to "get a job" (when I already had one and was also working on my educaiton). And when I reitereated that my education came first and that I would not discontinuing classes they seriously f**king told me that I was "done" and that I "wouldnt be able to" and that if I didnt switch to working fulltime and essentially drop my classes I wouldnt get any help and would essentially be cut off.
And after that meeting, when I said "no," to them talking to my ex-therapist (my ex-therapist knew by dropping me as a client that I would not be able to ask for more help because I wouldnt have her verification for my claims to the office and would subsequently lose any and all assistance because she wasnt there anymore to basically tell the office that I was telling the truth) and was still asking for more time, I received a letter from their "deliberation" over my request that was nothing more than a quick CYA letter saying that the program had ended and that there was no more time availiable and that I "had had enough time."
For f*cking working to afford market rent and to avoid ending up homeless after coming from a f*cking DV f*cking situation with no family support or really anything else to rely on. I ended up homeless in September of 2017 and was forced to throw all of my property out that I had built up from nearly two years prior.
For those not aware, deliberate placement back into homelessness is actually a tactic used by human service offices to basically cull people into further dank submission. Or more simply, punishment; for their "failure" at not being able to meet the requirements of being able to pay an impossible rent while working on minimum wage. And is actually documented and labeled actually as form of torture. Google search "homelessness as torture tactic" and you would more than likely find something on it. HSOs use this tactic as a means to blame people for the failure of the HSO. So the HSO can remain in business while further punishing people (thier clients) for a failure that has nothing to do with the clients in the first place.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/16/2020 03:44 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/volunteers-americacolorado/denver-colorado-abuse-1497704. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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