Homeless, Inc. Lady Makes Bank

Remember Sharon Lee of the Low Income Housing Institute?  (That’s the group that was co-founded by Scott Morrow in 1991 and is now hosting one of the downtown Nickelsville. The one with all the kiddies.)

She made $167,000 at LIHI in 2011.
Probably more than that in 2012.
And probably than that in 2013.

Here’s an extract from the 990 tax form LIHI filed with the IRS in 2011:

{Click on the image to enlarge it.}

See LIHI’s full 990 form here.

In 2011 LIHI’s total assets were valued at $50 million and, according to their 990 (Page 9), they took in nearly $10 million dollars last year, when you add up all the:

    • Government Grants
    • Private Gifts
    • Asset Sales
    • Fundraising Events
    • Rental Income
    • Property Management Fees
    • Development Fees
    • Cash Flow Fees (?)
    • Resident Service Fees

Ten mils. That’s a lot money, huh? And $3.7  million of that came from government assistance alone. That’s money out of our pockets, folks. From which Ms. Lee took $167k, right off the top.

Now you’d think an outfit like this would do things above-board, wouldn’t you? That’s what LIHI’s CFO Lynne Behar told me, anyway: She said that LIHI is 100% transparent and that they ALWAYS do things by the book.

So that leaves me puzzling over a few things. Like why, for example, when I asked Ms. Lee to tell where Nickelsville’s new squat was gonna be back in July, so maybe the neighbors could get some advance notice, she refused. She just dummied up. She knew where it was gonna be, but she didn’t tell me, because then the neighbors might have found out, and some of them might have actually taken preventive measures.

The City ordinance says Nickelsville’s supposed to give the neighborhoods they move into some notice, but they sure didn’t do that with the LIHI property at 20th and Jackson. They just showed up one day, much to the neighbors’ surprise. But that’s how Nickelsville ALWAYS operates. They move in and tell the neighbors later. And they do that for the very obvious reason that once they’re there, it’s much harder to get them out.

They did the same thing in Highland Park. They did the same thing Skyway. They did the same thing downtown. And SHARE has done the same thing with its Tent Cities. Repeatedly. They almost always move in first – in violation of the law – and apply for their permit and tell the neighbors later.

And you know what else? They always have an accomplice.

–With the Tent Cities, it’s usually some church.
–With Nickelsville, it was Mayor McDim.
–With Skyway, it was James Chan and the Department of Permitting.
–With 20th and Jackson, it was LIHI.

Can you see what’s going on here?

These folks are working the system, just like they worked it with HSD’s “no-receipts-needed” contracts.

But I regress . . . What I really wanted to talk about was Sharon Lee, because I think she’s really the biggest accomplice of all. And it makes sense when you think about it. Because, of all the people in Scott Morrow’s Little Black Book, hers is probably the only name listed twice. It’s listed once because because she’s now the big-time CEO of the organization Scott co-founded. And knowing Scott like I do, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Ms. Lee owed him a favor or two. Or three.

But she’s also listed in the Little Black Book for another reason. Because, remember, she also controls properties that Shmorrow (SHARE + Morrow) supposedly “rents” and then bills the city for. Except maybe she really doesn’t rent them, because when I asked her to provide me with receipts showing that Shmorrow actually paid some of that money they got from the City to rent those properties . . . it was nothing doing. Ms. Lee either wouldn’t or couldn’t provide those receipts. (I suspect the latter.)

A reasonable person might ask: “Well, Ms. Lee . . .  What happened to that money?”

So just add this little bit of information to what I’ve already told you about Ms. Lee. All together, here’s what we know about her and her organization:

    • Ms. Lee is boss of a non-profit organization that Scott Morrow co-founded: LIHI.
    • LIHI gets most of its capitalization from the taxpayers.
    • LIHI controls properties that Shmorrow uses to bill the city for shelter services.
    • Last summer, Ms. Lee came forward in a City Council meeting and “volunteered” one of her properties to host Nickelsville.
    • When I asked Ms. Lee to tell me where that property was, she refused.
    • When I asked Ms. Lee to show me the receipts showing that SHARE had paid LIHI for the use of the Frye Apartments as winter shelter in 2011, she refused.

And now . . . the cherry on the sundae

    • Ms. Lee takes in $167k a year.

Oh, and by the way . . .

    • Ms. Lee donated some of that money back to Mike McGinn’s reelection campaign.
    • And so did her ex-husband, who also works for Homeless, Inc.

Oh, and by the way, she names apartment buildings after her friends in politics . . .

Warning: Graphic boredom

Coming soon: “McGinn Place” ? “Morrow House” ?

For more about Sharon Lee: go here.

Her bio says she’s got a Masters of Architecture from M.I.T.* But I think she studied accounting at Enron University.

Anyway, you wanna see what kind of architecture the geeks from M.I.T. are turning out lately? Here it is, straight from the LIHI Web page:

Nickelsville Jr. Fun for children of all ages!

Gee . . . thanks, Sharon.


*Oh. Huh. MA from M.I.T. huh?  Anyone wanna check on that for me?

6 Responses to Homeless, Inc. Lady Makes Bank

  1. Johnny B says:

    Its amazing how much false information, presented as fact, is spewed on the internet.

    “Because, remember, she also controls properties that Shmorrow (SHARE + Morrow) supposedly “rents” and then bills the city for.”

    Nothing in this sentence is correct. Scott Morrow rents and or bills no one.
    SHARE is allowed to make use of some UNDER UTILIZED space at the LIHI offices to give some 30 homeless individuals, a safe, dry, warm place to sleep each night. SHARE charges the City around $5.00 per night per individual. Yes SHARE charges the City to house The homeless. Providing a service to house the homeless is not free. SHARE gives each of those 30 shelter participants two, $2.50 bus tickets each day. SHARE provides vehicles to pick up and drop off blankets to be washed each week. SHARE purchases toilet paper, paper towels, etc., for the operation of that 30 person shelter, and if you go to the state of Washington website that identifies SHARE’s tax exempt ID, Total Revenue and Total Expenses as a 501c3 non profit you will see that 97% of all monies taken in by SHARE gets spent on the very people SHARE tries to help, The homeless.

    Why not look at how much DESC, Union Gospel Mission, Bread of Life, Salvation Army and the Compass Center charge the city each night to house the homeless they profess to care for? Those organizations charge the City of Seattle between $24.00 to $69.00 per person per night. SHARE is King County’s largest, MOST COST EFFECTIVE emergency shelter provider.

    SHARE houses nearly 500 homeless men, women and children every night at a cost of $5.00 per individual per night in both their indoor and outdoor emergency shelters. SHARE provides stability, and a safe, dry place for homeless men and women to sleep while they transition through homelessness.

    SHARE is a self managed shelter model that does more than just provide a safe, dry place to sleep each night. SHARE transforms lives. SHARE gives its shelter participants the opportunity to grow, mature and learn important life skills that will allow them to have a successful and fulfilling life outside and away from the shelter environment and off the streets.

    The intrinsic nature of the self managed shelter model fosters communication skills, shelter operation, goal setting, fiscal responsibility, leadership, meeting participation, grant writing, and an intimate appreciation for responsibility. Unlike the traditional shelter model employed by DESC, Union Gospel Mission, Bread of Life, Salvation Army and the like, SHARE’s self managed shelter model instills important skills into their participants by requiring all facets of shelter operations be managed by the shelter participants.

    SHARE’s shelter participants learn, through managing their shelter, that managing their own life will lead to success off of the street. SHARE’s self managed shelter model is in fact a PROGRAM for success and transformation.

    I am a SHARE shelter participant and I firmly believe that SHARE’s self managed shelter model is an innovative approach to solving the homeless crisis here in Seattle and King County. Please partner with us, SHARE, by providing funding so that we can make homelessness an opportunity for growth, maturity and transformation.

    Again SHARE’s participants are being kicked back onto the street because SHARE does not have enough financial resources to keep their indoor shelters in operation. We will be camping at THE King County administration building indefinitely. We, The men and women of SHARE want to remain together and safe as well as get our message out to the wider public that SHARE is a necessary component in solving King County’s homelessness crisis.

    Please partner with SHARE and provide the necessary funding so that we can keep homelessness Brief and One time.

  2. Johnny B says:

    Again, I am not a PR person for Scott Morrow, a friend, or well wisher. I disagree vehemently at meetings where Scott Morrow is present, but I can not allow untruths and misinformation to go unchallenged.

  3. Johnny B says:

    No one wanted to respond to my comment(s)??? Really???

    Perhaps it takes time to very the integrity of my words and your editors are busy dissecting everything I wrote, Im not sure but I really wanted to have an open, honest conversation.

    Here’s the billion dollar question…How do We, as a society end homelessness???????
    The solution(s) to ending homelessness are as varied as are the causes for it in the first place.

    Any thoughts?? Ideas????

    How about this???
    I’m of the opinion that giving every homeless individual an apartment, subsidized or otherwise, will not solve homelessness. It only gets people from living on the street. Those individuals are still dependent on something or someone. SHARE gives people the opportunity to Grow, Mature and transform their lives so they are responsible for their own lives. SHARE is an innovative approach to solving the homeless crisis. Not enough information is given to the public about what the Self-Managed Shelter model is and how it is a component in a well rounded, comprehensive approach to ending homelessness.

    Regardless of what you feel about Scott Morrow, The Self Managed shelter model that SHARE utilizes is an amazing opportunity for people to transform their lives.

  4. Johnny B says:

    opps, again with my failure to proof read my post before posting. The sentence posted is
    “Perhaps it takes time to very the integrity of my words and your editors are busy dissecting everything I wrote, Im not sure but I really wanted to have an open, honest conversation.”

    but it should have been
    “Perhaps it takes time to VERIFY the integrity of my words and your editors are busy dissecting everything I wrote, I’m not sure but I really wanted to have an open, honest conversation.”

    I wrote VERY instead of VERIFY. Again Im terribly sorry for my bad proofreading

  5. Ujiyo says:

    You can claim “false information” all you’d like, but, until you cite a source, you’re not in the least bit credible. The entire article has the ring of truth to it while your rebuttal seems sloppy, disorganized, and not a single cited source to counter the information provided by the article. Debate 101 is cite your sources. If you don’t have a credible source to cite, you aren’t doing yourself or your argument any favors and come off as oppositional just to be so.

  6. Shaun says:

    Everywhere that I can only leave a comment about this organization I’m going to leave a comment the description they have given the community is a lie I’m in a tiny home village and I feel like I’m in prison which I’ve done plenty of time in prison I have been retaliated against by the supervisors in this program and I have gone up the chain of command with no results I used to work for them too and you’re not treated no better unless you are higher up. I lost my job due to a personal situation that happened to me with no understanding by my boss I also live in the village and I have been retaliated against and they have taken my car they have taken so much for me and they’re still trying to do it don’t believe anything that these people say to try to promote their program because it’s all a lie I’m living the LIE

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