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Sacramento Homeless. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

Who Has Profited From The Homeless Crisis Financially and Politically?

List includes disgraced Congresswoman Katie Hill and LA City Councilman Bonin

By Michelle Mears, December 28, 2019 8:36 am

What do disgraced congresswoman Katie Hill, Los Angeles Councilman Mike Bonin, the non-profit PATH developer Thomas Safran, and Executive Director Peter Lynn of the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority have in common?

They are all profiting or have profited from the so-called homeless crisis. There is also a connection among this crew of self-proclaimed homeless advocates of receiving six-figure salaries stemming from ballot initiatives to public donations, campaign contributions, and sweetheart deals.

California Globe has been focusing on the money behind the homeless crisis. This crisis is a strain for the average California resident but a booming business for others. Maybe it is time for the voters and taxpayers in Los Angeles to say “Bah Humbug” to the misers who continue to ask for millions to help the needy while lining their own pockets.

On Christmas Day, President Donald Trump spent the holidays paying close attention to the homeless crisis plaguing the liberal run state by attacking California Governor Gavin Newsom.

“Governor Gavin N has done a really bad job of taking care of the homeless population in California. If he can’t fix the problem, the Federal Govt. will get involved,” tweeted Trump.

Thursday morning, President Trump continued to opine his criticism of the Golden State by also going after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi and Newsom have strong ties to San Francisco, a city leading the nation in homeless people, drugs and disease.

The Democrat leaders in California have lashed out against Trump and Dr. Ben Carson for months for withholding funds to solve the homeless crisis. Carson, who was sworn in as the 17th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said he and the Trump Administration want the liberal leaders to show accountability for funds they already have been granted. Millions have been thrown at the homeless crisis with zero progress. In fact, the more money that has been given to the state and cities, the worse the crisis has become.

Carson wrote that the Trump administration will help California but with stipulations, “When California has shown that it is willing to make hard and thoughtful choices to address these issues, the Trump administration stands ready to support its efforts.”

The homeless crisis appears to be manufactured for groups and people to profit through social programs and government positions. Those claiming to be able to fix the crisis continue to hold their hands out for state and federal funds – placing their value on how much public funding they can raise and spread around to campaign donors instead of results.

In March 2017 when Measure H was passed by Los Angeles County voters. This quarter-cent sales tax was estimated to raise $355 million a year for 10-years to fund homeless services and prevention. The sales tax increase will amount to $3.55 billion yet the city continues to ask for more funding.

However, Measure H also allowed $41.1 million to be advanced to LAHSA for Lynn to fund ramped-up services and operating expenses. Despite millions being thrown at the homeless crisis, under Lynn’s watch, the amount of homeless grew by 33%.

Lynn who is stepping down at the end of December has been making close to $250k a year for the last five years.

Columnist Brian Baker wrote against Measure H in a piece for the Signal, “When is enough? Because let’s face it; when this program ends up not actually “preventing” homelessness, which is exactly how things will turn out, what do you think is going to happen? They’re going to come back to the well to drink.”

In opposition to Measure H, KCET wrote the following: “The money will go to the same homeless organizations that let homelessness get out of hand. Homeless organizations have plenty of money they just don’t spend it well.”

According to tax returns obtained by the California Globe, in 2016, Hill who was then working for Path, (People Assisting The Homeless)  a non-profit that helped pass Measure H was making $160k a year. In 2017, Hill was given a substantial raise that increased her salary to $174k a year. Despite a six-figure salary homelessness grew under Hill’s tenure.

Path Tax Returns 2016 HERE.

Path Tax Returns 2017 HERE.

Hill worked for PATH from 2010 to 2017 and used her platform of helping the homeless get elected into Congress despite the state’s failed track record of success with that issue.

Bonin, like Hill, pushed for Measure H to pass and used his ballot measure committee, LA Forward to promote another tax increase with Measure HHH for supportive housing.

Through Los Angeles Forward, Bonin, according to his website almost faced homelessness in his younger years and dabbled with crystal meth. He told voters, Proposition HHH, Los Angeles’ homelessness bond measure would raise $1.2 billion dollars for housing the homeless over the next decade through tax increases. Bonin’s salary with benefits is over $200k a year as a Los Angeles Councilmember and continues to be re-elected despite the dismal homeless numbers. Bonin like Lynn gloats about their success based on how much money they “receive” for helping the homeless.

When Hill left PATH those she worked with contributed to her campaign for Congress.

Bonin contributed at least $600. Hill’s boss at Path, Joel John Roberts and his wife donated $5,700.

Developer Thomas Safran donated to Hill, $6,500. Safran is raking in millions to develop affordable housing and non-competing bids for homeless contracts from the city of Los Angeles.

Measures H and HHH required tax increases. Those who opposed the measures called them socialistic.

In 2017 PATH received contributions of $36-million, giving them a revenue of $47.7 million. PATH then paid out $25-million in annual salaries which is 52-percent of their total budget.

Those in a position to benefit from these measures helped elect to Congress one of their own, Katie Hill who touted her homeless outreach efforts without specifics on her campaign page.

Hill received close to $9 million in campaign funding when she ran for Congress in 2018, compared to approximately $1.6 million received by long term incumbent Maxine Waters. Interestingly, more than $528,000 in campaign donations to Hill  came from New York. Hill’s campaign used homelessness to launch her into Congress and obtained donations from major players like Facebook who donated over $8,000 as well as major media organizations like NBC, SONY, and Disney.

*** In the 2017 IRS 990 form, Joel Roberts’ salary is $209,567 plus benefits $31,803. Benefits includes medical, dental, and retirement contribution to 403B account. Roberts contributed $100 to Bonin campaign in 2015.

PATH also has two related entities that help them funnel more money to their employees.

PATH Ventures is a real estate holding and development company and has an annual revenue of $1.8 million. Then there is PATH Partners which has an annual revenue of only $4,000 but shows grant support reaching $2.6 million.

Combing through article after article, there is a common theme among the Democrat leaders in positions to help the homeless; they all state their work has been successful because they have raised millions of dollars, and hire more staff. They gloat about the increased programs that focus on homelessness or studies. However, the real problem is that the funds to help those in need are not flowing downstream to those in the streets.

The Trump Administration pointed this out in the fall of 2019. Current studies report 59,000 people lack permanent housing in L.A. County. Within the city of Los Angeles, the numbers have grown to 36,000.

President Trump Tweet

Carson and the Trump Administration have been questioning the states policies. In September, Carson wrote to Governor Gavin Newsom,  “You are seeking more Federal dollars for California from hardworking American taxpayers but fail to admit that your state and local policies have played a major role in creating the current crisis.”

On Dec, 20 HUD released a report, “Homelessness increased in California by 21,306 people, or 16.4 percent, accounting for more than the entire national increase.

The estimated number of persons experiencing long-term, chronic homelessness increased 8.5 percent between 2018 and 2019. This increase was concentrated on the West Coast, with the largest increases in California.”

In a follow up article we will review the housing projects already approved or being proposed to curb the homeless epidemic in Los Angeles.


*** Correction: California Globe reported Roberts “was making close to $411,000, not including his benefits. Roberts contributed $100 to Bonin campaign in 2015.” PATH communications team contacted the Globe and said, “In the 2017 IRS 990 form, his salary is $209,567 plus benefits $31,803. Benefits includes medical, dental, and retirement contribution to 403B account.” 

Reporter Mears also noted in the tax returns PATH spent $933,075  for hotels for Roberts’ clients  in 2017

PATH spent $933,075 for hotels for clients in 2017
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41 thoughts on “Who Has Profited From The Homeless Crisis Financially and Politically?

  1. Newson seem to have plenty to feed and house the so called asylum seekers and the illegals, but none to really help the homeless here and that is a fact, but them, that is what liberals do and the reason why I got out of their darn party, after over 40 years of been D.

    1. yeah been saying the same thing for years on sanctuary policy, why do they have moneys for illegals, housing, food stamps, legal defense, not a dime for homeless more importantly homeless vets

  2. This is exactly what I’m seeing in Sacramento. Lining their own pockets and putting their own nonprofits in charge of the money. But nothing ever happens or changes except continued “ smoke and mirror” media stunts to make people believe their doing something.

    1. Currently seeing first hand of a non-profit aiding the homeless charitable organization – X Street Navigation Center – taking donations for their own personal gain. By researching the retributions other charities have faced, it’ll be YEARS before anything is actually – if ever – done about it.

  3. Being a N. CA resident, I realize my vote does not count. I realize that even though we collected enough votes
    to place the proposition to split the state on the ballot, some smart judge said it was not in the best interest of the people, so it died. We are fighting the homeless problem in N. CA. We may sound hard-nosed but we don’t want it here. We don’t want Newson with his liberal ideas of governing. We don’t want $25.00 from our auto registration fee taken to pay for the “Train.” This is a sneaky add-on fee on the receipt. We don’t want the additional “gas tax” to be unaccounted for as has been in past years. We don’t want Pelosi/Newsom government.

  4. Excellent report Ms. Mears
    There are active recall petitions on going for the governor and mayor of Los Angeles. Also there is a movement to create another state, “New California” , it is a strong movement.

  5. Thank you Michelle for another excellent article.

    This Homeless/Housing First scam is nothing but a money-laundering scheme and you’d think a lot of people would be in deep trouble and facing prosecution. Well, they would be if they weren’t elected politicians in the not-so-great-anymore State of California.

    I’m extremely grateful that we know what is going on now, though! And we would still be in the dark if it weren’t for the work of writers like Katy Grimes and Edward Ring and Michelle Mears and Ramona Russell who have stuck their necks out to honestly inform the public and blow the lid off this homeless scam and show it for what it is: California politicians and their cronies, who are pretending to help and even BRAGGING about it (e.g. Newsom and Garcetti), are in reality BENEFITING off of the backs of those on the street who desperately need help with addiction and mental illness, the vast majority. Think of it!

    So thank you all for writing and reporting extensively on the truth of this situation; an informed public is real progress. Now that we know the truth of it we can get somewhere.

  6. Where there is money, corruption soon follows. The worst part is they probably thing they are doing nothing wrong and are absolutely justified in their actions, no matter how obviously wrong it is.

  7. They came to do good and did quite well. Every one of these liberal government programs are mainly a feed bag for corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. No surprise here at all. You Californians are getting exactly what you vote for like mindless sheep marching to the polls every two years. Enjoy the ride and please don’t move to my state.

  8. We need help to save our state! We have a recall going on in. CA, to recall Gov Gavin Newsom we need 2 million signatures by Feb 2020, no msm coverage Ranaf.org

  9. First of all, if you’re raking in big taxpayer bucks to ostensibly solve a problem, the very last thing you want to do is actually solve it. Second, NGOs operate much like public employee unions in their relationships with elected officials and bureaucrats. The NGOs and unions are awarded lucrative contracts resulting in public expenditures in the millions and billions of dollars and then they work to support and elect the officials who will keep the gravy train rolling. And the poor, beleaguered taxpayers not only pay the freight for all this largess, they also have to live with the problems that not only are never solved but actually are exacerbated by all the ill-advised policies they’re funding. There’s no truer political axiom than “follow the money.” I just wish there were more journalists like Michelle Mears who were willing to do it.

  10. The problem with the recall efforts are, there many counties where the registrar of voters are refusing to accept the signature petitions to cover for Newsom and Garcetti. They appear to be afraid of repercussions. I know L.A. county Orange county, Kern County and more. The state of California is Lost. To the people who think we deserve this stuff need to look out because they’re next. VOTE HARVESTING is legal here. when the law makers can make illegal things legal party on.

  11. this is not partisan politics, this is what our state government is doing with the “to help the homeless problem pool of money.” I am right now being ripped off and if my business was my home, Id be homeless while the state ignores enforcement of its own laws and lets dirty developers make huge amounts of money. As the article says, the money never trickes down. this is happening right now at Blackstone and Mckinley here in Fresno at $430,000 cost per apartment..Because thats what homeless and low income people need right? Also because of their defrauding of existing displaced tenants, they really are performing an illusion: they are displacing many to the streets out the back door, while pulling people off the streets for politics and to promote future revenues at the front door..California Housing and community development is not just allowing this but protecting these criminal developers…

    1. Hello , I unfortunately lost my home over a year ago , and it’s not easy , and what’s interesting to me is I see reported money (a lot of money) being contributed to the state , But when I go to the DPSS Social Services, after hearing about Vouchers for temp housing the workers finally call me up but they never have given me any Vouchers and the last time they limited the amounted of people they let in I was there early and basically took all day , and just the look on their faces I knew the answer before I asked . they even ran out of bus passes so unbelievably frustrating , if the organization were really trying to help the homeless there would be more porta potties out there , that is how I know it’s not about helping the homeless. I’m on Disability and I only received a voucher once for 2 days in a seedy hotel in orange county, when they gave it to me , the guy whispered don’t tell anybody , I was very grateful
      Orange County had hot food and the showers were private and new lot like LA prison shower feeling just I think the people they do help are the ones that happen to be there when they are getting interviewed by the media . because I hear about it from someone and I call ask the Social Services and instead of just telling me No they tell me I have to come in . waste time all day , they don’t know if the media are coming that day so I bet if the media were there it would be different at least for that day. I am grateful for what I do receive thank God , but it’s not like what you see on the news at all , and some services are better than others , I have paid into the system for more than 30 years and thankfully the system is so messed up there are years of time I worked long time ago that went on someone else’s Social Security Number and never was corrected . but thankfully most of my work history is correct 🙏 there are some good people out there believe it or not. (Some) not most from my experience . Thank You and I know when I see more porta potties that’s when I know someone is really helping I’m not holding my breath . sincerely

  12. Maybe we should all move to calif
    Yep Really overload them to the point that they The Gov ,Supervisiors , Mayors etc cant drive out of their own driveways
    Then Reg to Vote Republican or Independent
    Your Votes matter You want change
    Send this story to every News Media in the USA of course ask permission and Give this Great Journalist credit
    Spread the word of the “Cartels of Homeless ” nothing really different from Drug Cartels Sell rape take
    Spread the word Get Upset enough to do something
    Thank You
    Ps we need good people here in N E Arizona retirees that can own land Very low crime almost no homeless Because it Snows Cheap Land Water etc but you have to give up easy shopping dinning out
    Dirt roads Peace and quite Hear birds singing Deal with empty wide open spaces no traffic Stars at night are endless
    Are you ready We need moral good People
    Here BUT not with Calif Ideas We wear our Guns for the world to see and to protect us
    Can you live in peace Not be Demanding new Malls etc Oh we love smoking Tabacco
    So if you cant deal with thay Stay In Calif
    but we wellcome Republians and Good soild Americans
    Ps our weather is not Calif but big deal how time do you spend out side anyway in your crime invested city ?
    Build a Green house to grow your own

    Just think 20 acres with a 3/ 2 house on a maintained rd for 200.000. Full price
    Some even turn key,,, leave your snowflake lazy kids and drugs in Calif

  13. Excellent article Michelle! I never knew PATH was so scandalous man? The voters need to get it together and make some tough choices this coming March. How anyone continues to vote democrat after seeing their incompetence is a real mystery. These politicians need to go and need their ass kicked too!

  14. I looked at PATHs 2016 990 which Michelle posted and that year it paid $999,221 for security guards.? Unreal! Security guards for what?

  15. Katy, I have wondered about where the money to support their drugs comes from. A person I know who lives in Redding says the state supports them by paying them from $900-%1100 per month. The money is shelled out the first of every month and immediately, the drug dealers arrive who exchange their checks for drugs.
    Do you know anything about this?

      1. That’s curious – where is it mailed to if they’re homeless? Not sure that assertion makes sense. The state combines with SSI for a maximum of 943.00 per month, they can get a maximum additional SNAP of 192.00. I’m not sure where you’re located in CA, but that’s not sustainable anywhere in Southern California.

  16. I agree, our homeless situation is desperate. California wildfires force renters who typically live paycheck to paycheck into unknown areas, with the wildfire evacuees lives turned upside down… more than a few end up on the streets. Homeowners fair much better and are able to pay the landlords’ increased rents as they can use their home equity as financial security. Low income is not a crime, neither is homelessness and we all agree on that.

    Nonprofits have many boots on the ground, service intensive is labor intensive and demoralized people do need hands-on support as even the strongest will struggle emotionally and psychologically on our streets. It is a real challenge for all involved. The reported salaries are not offensive in the working business world, CEO and COO positions are well-paid and well-deserved in my opinion. My issue would be cooking the books, misappropriation of funds and excessive waste (financial negligence) and lack of fiduciary duty to all stakeholders which includes not only the vulnerable served by the NP but also the community at large, local business, tax payers and even the politicians. The saw cuts both ways. Some politicians get a negative rap for “spinning” their wheels… we have that here in OC… no one knows what to do; its not so much NP and advocates on the take as it is an overwhelming problem that cannot be solved on the fly. No more band-aid should be the approach.

    Turning HLP (Homeless People) into Tenants is nothing less than the hamster wheel and the wrong hand in control of the cage. Turn the HLP into vested HO (homeowners), it is very simple if anyone is willing to do it.
    And the beauty of it is… it is self-sustaining and builds wealth, independence and overall community well-being.

    This chaos that we are witnessing is just the tip of the iceberg of the collapse of society as we have known it.

    When adults stand at a televised event hollering for the world to hear, “We hate homeless people”, my mind becomes very alert to the warning of the tsunami.

    No to building rentals, yes to self-sustaining business models of homeownership via cooperative community planning, done strategically with great consideration of all possible ripple effects.

    Yes, everyone rushes in to grab the money because we have trained them to do so and as long as nothing changes in the routine how can the issue be resolved at all? Flies in the face of logic. Equals Insanity!

    Just my opinion. Thank you.

  17. Eric ” Yoga pants” Garcetti, LA city Mayor,
    and Gavin Newsom, along with Bonin and Hill need to be sent to federal prison for fraud and misusing of federal funds.
    They coddle the illegal aliens in LA that are drug cartel connected and Bonin loves crystal meth still. Trump needs to step up in 2021 and lock those liberal criminals up.

    Homeless American in LA need affordable housing at 30 percent of their income.
    The Cocos need mental support housing.

    Trump in 2020 and a GOP Governor in the next election will clean California up.

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  19. Fantastic article! I’m surprised by two things, one there are hardly anything like this written out there and two how are you still breathing? Exposing our corrupt system, policies, people, and connecting the money dots is very brave of you. Bravo my dear! Please keep up the good work.

  20. This type of fraud is happening all across the country, not just California. Salvation Army receives billions in donations every single year. They do nothing to solve the homeless problem because it is a money making industry. If halfway houses for those getting out of prison can help get an inmate on their feet and into an apartment why can’t these so called homeless shelters do the same?

  21. What you are suggesting is that only non-profit, charity groups or government volunteers will solve the crisis

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