CORRECTIONS:  Based on Comments I received about this story, I re-read the story twice and could not find one statement I wrote that expressed or implied that I hate PATH or Jeremy Sidell or that myself or John Maceri of OPCC were blaming PATH for being Awarded the Sold Contract… Perception being everything, it was obvious to me at least that the way I wrote the piece was that myself and John Maceri were blaming the Sole Contract Award on the VA and GAO not PATH… Moreover, there were no “off-the-record” requests made by John Maceri…  WHEREFORE, other then misspelled words and grammatical errors, there was no need to make any Corrections or Retractions to this story… Furthermore, I stand-by what I wrote including all the quotes about what John Maceri had stated to me during the phone interview at which time I took thorough notes about what he said…

This story is the result of a 6-month investigation requiring  Veterans News Service Los Angeles to request the information it needed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) because both PATH and the VA refused to offer the information any other way…

“Sole VA Contract Award to PATH is not acting in best interest of the Most Chronically Vulnerable Disabled Homeless Veterans” said OPCC Executive Director John Maceri portrayed in above photo…

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By Terry Richards

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Battle over the Contract to Process 940 HUD-VASH Housing Vouchers for Homeless Veterans has ended and PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) is the Victor…… However 14-year OPCC (Ocean Park Community Center) Executive Director John Maceri, among other things, had this to say in a 52-minute phone interview with this Columnist on March 22, 2013: “Considering that PATH has not had a Mental Health Relationship with the Most Chronically Vulnerable Disabled Homeless Veterans, especially the most Vulnerable Severely Mentally Ill Veterans as OPCCStep up on Second and the St. Joseph’s Center has had, Awarding PATH the Sole VA Contract  because they were the lowest-bidder is not acting in best interest of these specifically Targeted Veterans… And if it does not work-out it with PATH it will be just another squandered opportunity by the VA to provide this group of Veterans with permanent housing. It also shows that there is no thought that goes into the Bureaucratic Process because no one Organization can process 940 Vouchers in the short period of time needed to get Vets off-the-street… The VA could not do it and that’s why they decided to outsource it… So I doubt PATH can do it either!!!”

Above photo is of Jeremy Sidell, Chief Development & Communications Officer PATH (People Assisting the Homeless)

Moreover, Maceri said that the VA’s and GAO’s Denial of splitting the Contract with OPCCStep up on Second and the St. Joseph’s Center has decimated its relationship with at least OPCC and possibly the other said Non-Profits…

Furthermore, Marceri stated that in his opinion  “it is bad policy to sole source to one organization” for a task as great as this one where at least 940 Vouchers or more has to be processed as well as all the other responsibilities and range of services the Contractor has to provide these Veterans as matter of Federal Public Law 104-262 and Title 38, U.S.C.M 8153. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/38/8153 both before and after they take occupancy in their HUD-VASH Section 8 Apartments…

PATH-Logo-with-People-Assisting-The-Homeless-300-dpi

In late September of 2012, OPCCStep up on Second and the St. Joseph’s Center Non-Profits Protested People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) being awarded the sole $5,781,600 VA 5-year VA Contract without any bids accepted by other Non-Profit Organizations to Process 940-HUD-VASH Housing Vouchers for Homeless Veterans. Then one December 28, 2012 PATH was again awarded the sole contract, this time by the General Administrative Office (GAO) who made the final decision in the matter. By the way, that breaks-down to $6,150 per Veteran, but in this Columnists mind from researching the matter and in talking with OPCC Executive Director John Maceri this amount is not excessive considering all the Responsibilities required in the Contract and Statement of Work attached to the Contract…  http://www.gao.gov/legal/bids/docket.html?openclosed=All&agency=All&snumber=&protestor=&filenum=B-407418&o=0&searched=1&now

Maceri stated that when OPCC received its Denial from the GAO, it simply said that the Decision to Award PATH the VA Contract “was in the best interest of the Government”… The Contracting Process is Flawed if this is the way VA Contracts are Awarded as this process is not acting in the best interest of Veterans Maceri went on to say…

WRITER’S NOTE #1:  Readers should Duly Note that there is actually a Federal Regulation that allows Federal Employees who are considered Management to receive as much as $62,000 or more per year Bonus in 2013 For Acting in the best interest of the (United States) Government which the Government calls A Performance or Merit Bonus http://www.app.com/article/20120514/NJNEWS/305140078/Feds-paid-employees-439M-in-bonuses?nclick_check=1  so it is quite possible those who were involved with approving this Contract to PATH could show that they saved the Government a Million Dollars for example by Awarding the Contract solely to PATH because they were “the lowest bidder”, they could become eligible to receive up to a very large Bonus. Want to find out how much Salary and Bonus Federal Employees you know earn??? Just click onto the link below…  http://php.app.com/fed_employees11/search.php

Maceri further explained that it is important to point-out that this Target Group of Homeless Veterans did not Trust the VA to provide services for them from their past experiences with the VA and so they did not seek any kind of services for themselves at the VA, especially for Mental Health Treatment, and that is why these 4-Non-Profits Targeted these specific Homeless Veterans….

Maceri also advised me that OPCC was promised a piece of the action by the VA because of their involvement in “Project 60” in housing for a number of years “on their own dime” Targeting 60 of the Most Chronically Vulnerable Disabled Homeless Veterans with Severe Mental Health issues to whom they reached-out, but in fact they exceeded the 60 and housed 92 of this Target Group. 

Maceri further stated that OPCC only wanted 44 of those 940 Vouchers, and that Step Up on Second, the St. Joseph’s Center, and San Fernando Valley Mental Health had requested another 181 Vouchers combined for a total of only 225 Vouchers for these other 3-Non-Profits… These new HUD-VASH Housing Vouchers were to be the “mechanism to expand the pilot” Maceri went on to say…

Maceri also pointed out that since PATH has never been involved providing Mental Health Treatment and Shelter or Housing for this Target Group of Veterans and because of that he was deeply concerned that PATH may not know how to reach-out to the Most Chronically Vulnerable Disabled Homeless Veterans, especially the most Vulnerable Severely Mentally Ill Veterans … Maceri also advised me that he told other Homeless Veterans waiting for Permanent Housing that help was on the way from the VA in the form of these Housing Vouchers and that they could now Trust the VA(???)… This Writer agrees with everything Maceri has stated about Path in this Paragraph as well as everything else he has stated in this story.

WRITER’S NOTE #2:  It is important to Duly Note that currently the “VA Central Office” Mandates and the STATEMENT OF WORK issued to PATH that a minimum of 65% of the HUD-VASH Housing Vouchers be issued and provided to “Chronically Homeless” Veterans. However, this Mandate is subject to change every year. The primary Target Populations for HUD-VASH include Chronically Homeless, Chronically Mentally Ill, Veterans; Veteran Families with minor children, and returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans… To be eligible for the HUD-VASH Program Veterans shall be eligible for VA Health Care, and be assessed to have ongoing medical, mental health, substance abuse, or other serious psychosocial conditions or stressors that prevent the Veteran from obtaining or maintaining permanent housing on his/her own…

WRITER’S NOTE #3:  This Writer was not aware that San Fernando Valley Mental Health was involved in this matter until John Maceri advised me of same… Also, this Writer called and spoke to Todd Lipka, CEO of Step Up On Second  for a statement but Lipka said that he “Declined to comment”… Several messages were also left with the St. Joseph’s Center but they did not return my call by the time this story was Published… Furthermore, this Writer did not call Jeremy Sidell for any comment due to fact that Sidell had recently advised me that the VA told him to refer all questions to them which they did not answer until I filed under the Freedom of Information Act in order to get those answers…

Q–HUD VASH CASE MANAGEMENT AND HOUSING PLACEMENT SERVICES

Solicitation Number: VA26212R0287
Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs Office: Long Beach VANLO Location: Department of Veterans Affairs                                              https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=53abd034eb7e8226445047f8cf065219
QUESTIONS WE ASKED THE VA TO ANSWER
1. According to Jeremy Sidell, on or about December 28, 2012, PATH was notified that they were awarded the Contract for the 940 Vouchers. Since that time, can you tell me how many homeless Veterans have started the process to obtain their HUD-VASH Vouchers?

The number of Veterans who have started the process since December 28, 2012 and February 22, 2013 which was the date of Our FOIA request to the VA is as follows: Greater Los Angeles = 147,  Long Beach = 9, for a Total of 156 processed. That’s about 78 homeless Veterans being processed per month… At that rate it would take about 12-months to process 940 Veterans for the 940 Section 8 Housing Vouchers… Is that acceptable??? 

2. PATH received from the VA $5,781,600.00 (Five Million Seven Hundred and Eighty-One Thousand Six Hundred Dollars) to initiate (?) the process for 940 homeless Veterans to obtain 940 HUD-VASH Housing Vouchers. This breaks-down in round numbers to $6,150 per Voucher. How does the VA justify awarding this amount? For example:
A. What are the total number of employee hours is it going to take to process each Veteran until they get their VASH Voucher from HUD? Or you can provide me with a “break-down” on how PATH justified being awarded the above amount. Copies of PATH’s application for this Award if available?
and/or
B. Does this award amount include the costs for PATH employed or contracted Supported Housing Counseling by Social Workers visiting the Veteran in the home once a month for the first 6-months like VA Social Worker currently do, and then for the next 18-months Veterans just checking-in with their Social Worker once a month by e-mail or telephone? If so, what are the total anticipated employee hours and costs.
C. Any other information that JUSTIFIES the above $6,150 COST PER VETERAN/VASH VOUCHER?
VA’s answer to all of the above
We do not have the number of employee hours to process Veterans due to the contract being awarded on a unit basis per veteran and not on employee hours. Included with the letter, is the Statement of Work detailing the work and responsibilities of the contractor. There is no separate “break-down” regarding justification. In addition, there is no copy of PATH’s application; PATH submitted a proposal based on the requirements of the contract. Their proposal and the agreement of duties and responsibilities between the Department of Veterans Affairs and PATH are formalized in the Statement of Work.
The Statement of Work detailing the work and responsibilities of PATH are included with this letter. Employee hours and costs are not tracked as the contract was awarded on a unit basis per veteran.
3. What was the Name or Names of the other Non-Profit or Non-Profits that CONTESTED the Contract Award to PATH? And, why did they Contest it? Copies of their reasons for Contesting said PATH Award if available?

THIS STORY TO BE CONTINUED IN ANOTHER EDITION

WE SUGGEST THAT YOU READ THE RELATED STORIES BELOW IN THE ORDER THEY ARE LISTED

Veterans in VA Homeless Programs being lied to about Housing Vouchers!!!https://vnsla.com/2012/11/10/veteransliedto/

940 homeless Veterans must suffer while nonprofits battle over housing voucher contract                                                      https://vnsla.com/2012/12/17/940homelessvetssuffer/

Proof Independent Private ‘supported housing’ approach will End Veteran Homelessness, Not Building Veterans Homes!!! – Part 1 of a Series             https://vnsla.com/2013/01/07/housingfirstpart1/

Proof Independent Private ‘supported housing’ approach will end Veteran Homelessness, Not Building Veterans Homes!!! – Part 2 of a Series

https://vnsla.com/2013/01/08/housingfirstpart2/

Proof Independent Private ‘supported housing’ approach will end Veteran Homelessness, Not Building Veterans Homes!!! – Part 3 of a Series            https://vnsla.com/2013/01/27/va300m/

Mercer Story http://www.merceralliance.org/pdf/5_Yr_Plan.pdf

Nicholas Pleace and Joanne Bretherton “Will Paradigm Drift Stop Housing First
from Ending Homelessness? Categorising and Critically Assessing the Housing
First Movement from a Social Policy Perspective” Paper given at Social Policy
in an Unequal World: Joint Annual Conference of the East Asian Social Policy
Research Network (EASP) and the United Kingdom Social Policy Association (SPA)
University of York, United Kingdom, July 16th-18th 2012
http://www.york.ac.uk/media/chp/documents/2006/NPJB-EASP-SPA-2012.pdf

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