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San Francisco nonprofit barred from city funding amid allegations of misappropriating public funds

San Francisco, California – San Francisco has barred a local nonprofit from securing new city contracts and grants for up to five years after the group allegedly misappropriated more than $100,000 of public funds. City Attorney David Chiu stated Monday that Providence Foundation, the charitable arm of Providence Baptist Church, is now banned from receiving city funding. An investigation by Chiu’s office discovered that Providence had submitted fraudulent invoices totaling at least $105,000 to the city.

“There’s a difference between having challenges with financial compliance and intentionally defrauding the City and its taxpayers,” City Attorney David Chiu, whose investigation remains ongoing, said in a statement. “This nonprofit took over $100,000 of public money meant to benefit people experiencing homelessness. That cannot be tolerated.”

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The Providence Foundation currently operates the Oasis Inn, which shelters homeless families, and runs the Central Waterfront Navigation Center, several housing subsidy programs, and supportive services for individuals facing homelessness, according to Chiu’s office. While the nonprofit is barred from accessing city funds, the investigation will not disrupt its clients’ access to housing or services.

A representative from the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing informed The Examiner that each contract will be assessed individually to ensure the continuation of services for guests and tenants.

“HSH’s ultimate responsibility is to the guests and tenants in these programs and we are working diligently to ensure that clients continue to receive the shelter, housing and services they need,” the spokesperson added.

Sam Francisco City Attorney David Chiu stated that Providence Foundation is now banned from receiving city funding due to suspected fraud

San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu accused Patricia Doyle, the executive director of Providence Foundation, and Kenisha Roach, director of operations, of submitting fraudulent invoices worth $105,000. These invoices reportedly covered renovation work at the Oasis Inn, including exterior painting and deadbolt removal. In 2022, Doyle filed these invoices with the city for payment, despite a facilities report highlighting the hotel’s urgent need for exterior painting due to rust and fungus.

Roach is accused of accepting an invoice from Robert Lacy, Jr. and his company, Will Do It Construction, which had a falsified contractor’s license number. Chiu’s office claims that Lacy only began working with Providence a year after these invoices were submitted. By the spring of this year, he had been promoted to assistant site manager at the navigation center.

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The San Francisco Chronicle disclosed in January that the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement started investigating Providence Foundation in December after receiving complaints from employees. In March, the newspaper reported that Doyle had previously managed another nonprofit, which lost a city contract due to “substantial fiscal mismanagement.” Vernon Goins, representing Providence, dismissed the allegations as “unfounded and baseless.”

“If debarment proceedings are initiated, the Providence Foundation of San Francisco is confident that it will successfully prove that it never engaged in any willful misconduct as to any City grant or contract,” Goins told The Examiner.

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Last spring, city officials overseeing homelessness sent Providence Foundation several corrective action letters to ensure the nonprofit complied with its grantee agreement. Besides accusations of nepotism, City Attorney David Chiu’s office accused Providence of recording private conversations between clients, failing to maintain a 90% occupancy rate at the Oasis Inn, and seeking reimbursement for a staff position that officials had previously determined was ineligible for city funding.

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