by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Tuesday Mar 28th, 2017 6:18 PM
Allegedly over 100 others plus some squatters in the building were desperately displaced from their transitional housing, that reportedly involved three nonprofit organizations!
Four people died at Oakland housing deathtrap run by nonprofit organizations
Administrator of nonprofit fire deathtrap failed to file 990 tax filing since 2010
By Lynda Carson - March 28, 2017
Oakland - According to the Alameda County Sheriffs Department the latest housing deathtrap in Oakland with numerous code violations, four people died in the blazing inferno including Edwarn Anderson and Cassandra Robertson.
Allegedly over 100 others plus some squatters in the building were desperately displaced from their transitional housing, that reportedly involved three nonprofit organizations, including Urojas Community Services, House of Change, and Dignity Housing West. Urojas Community Services and Dignity Housing West provided housing for the low-income renters residing in slum like conditions, including the disabled and mentally ill. According to The Red Cross it was home for 60 to 80 people in conflicting reports, and according to the East Bay Express the renters being housed by Urojas Community Services were facing eviction.
The building (deathtrap) is owned by slumlord Keith Kim, who resides in a spacious Piedmont home valued at more than $3,800,000.
Reportedly, Urojas Community Services has also been in the news recently in Stockton due to problems at one of it’s transitional housing facilities. ”It's atrocious the way they keep these grounds," said Nina Lamfers, who recently moved out of the complex. "If I would have known the way it was going to be, I would have thought twice or maybe made a different decision."
It was reported that; “Lamfers and two other residents have publicly raised allegations of negligence by UROJAS leadership, including staff threatening to kick them out. They describe rooms in need of maintenance and infested with bedbugs and cockroaches, and piles of trash throughout the compound.”
“The room Lamfers, who showed The Record a series of photos, rented had bed bugs on walls, light sockets, behind decals and frames, she said.”
"She was so badly bitten by bed bugs that when we went to her last prenatal appointment the doctors say you have got to move," said Susan Gibson, the grandmother of Lamfers' unborn baby.”
“Jasper Lowery, executive director of UROJAS, on Friday said any issues residents bring to staff are immediately addressed, including dealing with pests, but a lack of funding has affected operations.”
“On Friday, Lowery gave a tour of the facility to representatives from a local nonprofit agency. Prior to the visit, men could be seen pressure washing, raking and tossing trash.”
Additionally, it was reported: In Stockton, UROJAS Community Services opened it’s transitional operation in May 2015, and the transitional housing facility was cleared to open for 70 beds and can house 25 children.
Reportedly, “During an interview and tour of the facility with The Record in December, Lowery, who moved to Stockton from Alameda County, said he started the program to assist women who are military veterans and single women with children in need of emergency, transitional and permanent housing. UROJAS' "Believe Center," which is adjacent to the facility, is intended to provide training and classes for the clients.”
“Lamfers, who paid $600 a month and then $700 a month to live there, said people don't get what they're promised when they sign the agreement.”
“According to the contract, services include independent living at an affordable rate, clean and sober living, neighborhood activities, three meals a day "but not mandatory nor an agreed requirement," fresh linens weekly and "included in your rent: P.G.E. Water..."
"You don't get any of this," Lamfers said. "You're lucky if you get dinner."
“Lamfers said residents were also told during a meeting that Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and water would be shut off from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and they had to go elsewhere, yet it is supposed to be included with their rent.”
“Lowery said clients were asked not to use utilities during the day to save money because the bill kept going up.”
Public Records Reveal That 2010 Was The Last Time Urojas Community Services Filed A 990 Tax Filing
In addition to the alleged problems reported in Stockton, the massive fire in Oakland displaced 100 others plus some squatters from their transitional housing, that reportedly involved three nonprofit organizations, including Urojas Community Services, House of Change, and Dignity Housing West.
The latest 990 tax filing by Dignity Housing West reveals that they have operating legally and have a fund balance of over $400,000, and that the status of their corporate license with the Secretary of State is active.
However, records reveal that House of Change a drug and alcohol rehab program, has allowed the status of their license with the Secretary of State to become suspended, and that there is no record for House of Change being listed as a nonprofit organization.
As for Urojas Community Services, according to public records, the last time Urojas Community Services, employee identification number 26-2211142, filed a 990 tax filing it was for 2010. Public records reveal that by the end of 2010, Urojas Community Services, a 501 c3 nonprofit charity organization, run by Jasper Lowery, had a fund balance of only $100. Records also reveal that by the end of 2009, Urojas Community Services had a fund balance of $100, and they had no assets or a zero fund balance for the organization by the end of 2008.
Reportedly, nonprofit organizations that fail to file their 990 tax filings in a timely manner may be charged steep fines or penalties for violating the law.
According to Urojas Community Services, Dr. Jasper Lowery, Founder and Executive Director of the organization, is a certified administrator for the State of California to operate Licensed Care Facilities, and public records reveal that his license is active till 11/23/2018.
Records also reveal that Urojas Ministries run by Pastor Jasper Lowery, has a suspended license.
Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com