Homeless Shelter Spent Taxpayer Money on Staff Booze Cruise
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Audit Finds Gross Misuse of City Money; Funds Blown on Booze Cruise for Homeless Shelter Employees

Homeless Shelter

A man sleeps near Penn Station by Madison Square Gardens on Sept. 17, 2020, in New York City. An audit of the Bowery Residents’ Committee homeless shelter revealed the nonprofit used taxpayer money to pay for a booze cruise for its staff. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Recently, the New York State comptroller’s office released a scathing audit on the Bowery Residents’ Committee, a homeless shelter, and services provider that has been repeatedly accused of failing to address the homeless situation at Penn Station. The audit found that BRC charged taxpayers more than $2,653 for a catered booze cruise for its staff.

In a statement to the New York Post, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said, “It’s a cause for concern when the non-profit hired to expenses it bills to the city. Charging taxpayers for a booze cruise is inappropriate at best.”

According to the audit, BRC also was reimbursed $3,482 for AMC Theaters and $1,500 at Wendy’s — but it could not provide invoices or other documentation for over half of that money. The rest had been labeled as staff appreciation.

According to auditors, hundreds of thousands of dollars in personnel and facility expenditures like rent and utilities were incorrectly allocated to BRC’s Jack Ryan Residence contract instead of to other BRC programs in the same building.

Many have claimed this project is extremely expensive and minimally effective, which is turning out to be an understatement. Charging the city thousands of dollars to cover what most would consider an unbefitting “staff appreciation” trip for a homeless shelter is insulting, to say the absolute least.

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