What is really happening behind closed doors at the mission…

Our blog was created almost two years ago to give voice to the issues of the PCRM and its effect on our downtown community. Those of us who live and work downtown take pride in our city and the potential it has as a wonderful place to raise our children, dine, shop and grow small businesses. We as local citizens realize the need to help others and take personal responsibility for helping out those less fortunate in our community but feel that there are ways to do that that are both uplifting to those in need while respectful of the community at large. When addressing the needs of the homeless a quick snapshot of the messages being issued by the Pathways Christian Recovery Ministries would, on the surface without much additional research, leave one with the impression that the  PCRM was a viable and well respect organization with a well planned strategy to service the needs of the community. Those of us who post on our blog each fell for this story until we started doing the research and looking at all the facts. Much of this data has been compiled into our over 160 online post. Over the past two years we have received literally thousands of email (movethemission@yahoo.com) some being very critical of our efforts, some being very supportive of the PCRM. We have received personal stories of the ill effects that the PCRM has had on our neighbors. We often receive tips about specific pieces of information that we should do more research on the paint a more accurate picture of what the rescue mission is doing. Traditionally this information is taken, more research done, data verified and then formed into a post. Today we received an email from a reader that was so compelling that we felt it was appropriate to post it in its entirety. This is from a former employee of the PCRM:

Dear Readers,
I am a former employee of PCRM and was terminated last week for speaking out against bad leadership, personal agenda’s, political infighting, and abuses done to students in the name of a recovery program and Godly ministry.On Friday, October 25th I was called into Mr Chambers office and questioned about disclosing to a former employee that her friend and current employee, ********, was the subject of formal complaints, by licensed clinical social workers, employed by the Federal Government. These complaints are about Mr. ***** lack of professional conduct, lack of education, lack of training and experience to do the work that he is doing. Mr. ***** is currently a case manager for the support center, work program and transitional programs. One of the social workers, whom I have worked with for years, came to my office two weeks ago and stated that “when I come to the mission to see a client, I try to avoid him; he has no skills, does not know about community resources or how to access them and has no professional education.” Her associate, whom I have also worked with, quite successfully, admonished me to get away from the mission before it (the mission) messed up my reputation as a legitimate professional and hurt my chances at licensure. I had to agree with the logic of that statement and have been seeking employment elsewhere. Part of the problem is that no-one, with the exception of Cathy Byrd, Kathleen Duval, and myself have any graduate education, formal degrees in these fields, or any clinical training. The case managers (with the exception of me) have all been former students with a couple of years clean and no education or training. Consequently everyone of them have relapsed on drugs and alcohol. The lasts was my co-worker who disappeared from work in August for three days to go smoke crack. He had to be drug tested, by myself when he returned, and he tested positive for cocaine. He was subsequently terminated. This is who is providing recovery service for the students in the program. This is also another reason that I was terminated, for speaking out against staff members with no training, no education, and no abilities being allowed to make case management decisions that were very bad for the students. The most recent debacle was when Ken Owens, the financial officer, approved a two week pass for a client and did not even consult me, the students case manager. He sent me an email notifying me that it had been done. This is part of the constant power struggle mentality that permeates the mission. I voiced my objection to mr chambers and he simply placated me with the statement, “we’ll get this going in the right direction soon.” He did agree that it was a “bad decision”. This objection was the beginning of my demise at the mission. The final straw was my complaints about ******* conduct and my complaints about working students 7 days a week, often more, with no days off, not having reputable teachers for classes, not having consistent recovery related structure. Make no mistake, the “recovery program” is really nothing more than a work program with a few chapel services and “classes” thrown in. None of the staff currently at the mission, now that I am gone have any formal addiction recovery education or training. Ken Owens, the man writing the checks has been an alcoholic until completing the program 3 years ago. He at least holds an MD, but lost his practice due to his alcohol use. Finally, make no mistake, mr chambers is a business shark who sole intention is to return the mission’s multi-million dollar budget to it’s past status. He is not in any way trained in addiction or spiritual recovery. His experience that he lauds so loudly has been purely business related.Finally, the mission states that it serves how many? There are currently 26 men students who eat 3 times a day and perhaps that many outside guests who are allowed to eat dinner meal. The mission currently only houses 10 overnight male guests (sleeping on floor in dining room with blankets, no mats) due to recent fire regulations. They serve no where near the meals or other services that they state. Each and every day the men students assigned go around to local Publix and other stores and gather pastries and bread items and bring them back to the mission. EVERY SINGLE DAY THE SAME STUDENTS ARE ASKED TO LOAD THE DUMPSTER WITH GARBAGE BAGS THAT ARE FULL OF BREAD ITEMS THAT HAVE GOTTON OLD. They can’t even use what they collect. They also have 3 separate storage pods on the campus full of canned food and other dry goods that are moldering and they keep collecting more. In addition to taking $200.00 in food stamps (current allotment for homeless persons) from EVERY student in the program, what more do they need?I could no longer stomach the deplorable activities or the abuses of the men students or the deceptions be perpetrated on the community and the local churches who believe they are supporting a reputable cause. It stopped being that prior to 2001 when chambers was removed the first time.

 

  1. Ron Aleen

    /  November 8, 2013  /  Edit

    Recue Mission Support Gay Couples
    As a former employee of the Rescue Mission what I am writing about is first hand. The subjects mention in the above letter M___ ______and Ken Owens have an on going relationship. The couple eat together, live together, vacation together and who knows what else together.
    Ken Owens is no stranger to special relationship with former students, or x students who didn’t finish the program. One student was asked to live the program when he complained about where Ken placed his hand. The student left the program and a bus ticket purchased for him.
    Former graduate of the program had an on and off relationship with Ken Owens. Ken crossed the line as a staff member by an on going in home relationship with this guy.The end result, The guy, help his self to the rent money, a car that Ken had, (which the Mission provided). The drama continued, The guy, is now a father from his raping a fourteen year old girl.(He’s thirty something) Ken is still fixed on this guy, that the child’s picture is his screen saver. What happen to the guy? In a prison in another state All this, in 14 months.
    Ken Owens is now not only in charge of the financials of the mission, but is in charge of the male students of the mission.
    Mr. Chambers needs to get his head out of the closet. Open his eyes and start asking questions. Look at who is still at the mission and should be gone. Who he has gave a lot power too! The preaching will be about Adam and Steve in the chapel, Churches and Donors Beware ask guestions before you write that check.

  2. D. Williams

    /  November 25, 2013  /  Edit

    Dear Readers,
    At the end of October my wife purchased a gas dryer from the Mission thrift store on east 11th St.. It was a (as is sale). I installed the dryer, it worked. A while later we had a strong gas Oder in the house, I shut the gas to the dryer off and checked the connections, and my installation of the dryer. The next day I had someone check the dryer out and I was told the dryer should of never been sold to us.
    My wife went in twice, and she go told by the man that sold the dryer to her, that it was sold as is. I then went into the store and was told by the man working the day I went in that they did not sale any type of gas appliances, one reason was given was that they have no way of checking them out.
    I e-mail Rev. Chambers, and got no response from him. Instead I got an e-mail from a guy name Bill, who in return referred me to another guy name Rick. I Found out that Rick is the one to informed me that they do not sell gas appliances. I have done business with Rick in the past, so I called him and set a time. I canceled the appointment from advise, to seek an Attorney’s advise.
    My wife and I have gone in, as my Attorney has, to check and see if any other gas appliance are for sell. Today my wife was in there around 1 pm, (11/25) and the man that sold her the dryer was at the register. He was in the register, took money out and put it in his wallet. My wife approached him and asked him if that what he did with the money from the sale of the dryer, He looked right at her and smiled and stated he had know idea what she was talking about. She was basically called a liar. if you post this or not, I at least got this off my chest. Thank you for that.
    David Williams

  3. Vincent

    /  January 11, 2014  /  Edit

    Dear Readers, please take heart that your voices are being heard. I met recently with a group of people who have been in discussion over some of these events, and others that have come to light, since Mr. Chambers took the helm at the mission. Some of the people, who must remain nameless at this time, include local clergy, lawmakers, law enforcement, and business owners. There are deeper scandals brewing at the mission and there will be, within the next few months, more revelations coming forth about the activities of the above named individuals and more. During my tenure as case manager at the mission, I was able to develop some relationships with individuals who are still willing and able to provide me with updates about what is happening behind closed doors at the mission. As a Christian I can assure you that what is done in secret will come to light, and when you perpetrate the kind of behaviors that are currently going on at the mission, under the guise of a Christian ministry, it will be revealed.

    Ken Owens and Mike Adams do indeed live together and it is true that Ken is alleged to have been engaging in questionable activities with the male students for some time. One of the mission provided vehicles in Ken’s possession was apparently stolen by a former student that Ken allegedly had dealings with and Ken’s email at the mission is also in the name of a former student. I questioned this email discrepancy prior to leaving the mission when I discovered that the header on Ken’s internal emails showed up as a students name, instead of Ken Owens. I asked Ken if I had the right email and he explained that it was a former students name who he was “close” to. I began saving all documentation from that day on as it was obvious to me that there were some very questionable relationships being sought by Mr. Owens.

    As far as Rick Reynolds at the Production center and the sale of donations, he has been directed by the former and current administration to sell, sell, sell. They are not concerned with anything other than generating revenue, regardless of how they do it; particularly any ethical restraints that should be in place in an organization that uses Christian ministry as a front. The gentleman who is reported to have been taking money from the till at the production center is most likely a student who has graduated to the level of intern, not a mission employee. There has long been speculation about the theft of funds from the production center but nothing has ever been pursued. The reason being that this is tantamount to stealing from the donors who have given the items to the mission and the publicity over such a scandal is more than the powers that be are willing to endure. Another in a long list of dollars and cents motivations from an organization that is supposed to serve the least, the last, and the lost.

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3 Comments

  1. Ron Aleen

     /  November 8, 2013

    Recue Mission Support Gay Couples
    As a former employee of the Rescue Mission what I am writing about is first hand. The subjects mention in the above letter M___ ______and Ken Owens have an on going relationship. The couple eat together, live together, vacation together and who knows what else together.
    Ken Owens is no stranger to special relationship with former students, or x students who didn’t finish the program. One student was asked to live the program when he complained about where Ken placed his hand. The student left the program and a bus ticket purchased for him.
    Former graduate of the program had an on and off relationship with Ken Owens. Ken crossed the line as a staff member by an on going in home relationship with this guy.The end result, The guy, help his self to the rent money, a car that Ken had, (which the Mission provided). The drama continued, The guy, is now a father from his raping a fourteen year old girl.(He’s thirty something) Ken is still fixed on this guy, that the child’s picture is his screen saver. What happen to the guy? In a prison in another state All this, in 14 months.
    Ken Owens is now not only in charge of the financials of the mission, but is in charge of the male students of the mission.
    Mr. Chambers needs to get his head out of the closet. Open his eyes and start asking questions. Look at who is still at the mission and should be gone. Who he has gave a lot power too! The preaching will be about Adam and Steve in the chapel, Churches and Donors Beware ask guestions before you write that check.

    Reply
  2. D. Williams

     /  November 25, 2013

    Dear Readers,
    At the end of October my wife purchased a gas dryer from the Mission thrift store on east 11th St.. It was a (as is sale). I installed the dryer, it worked. A while later we had a strong gas Oder in the house, I shut the gas to the dryer off and checked the connections, and my installation of the dryer. The next day I had someone check the dryer out and I was told the dryer should of never been sold to us.
    My wife went in twice, and she go told by the man that sold the dryer to her, that it was sold as is. I then went into the store and was told by the man working the day I went in that they did not sale any type of gas appliances, one reason was given was that they have no way of checking them out.
    I e-mail Rev. Chambers, and got no response from him. Instead I got an e-mail from a guy name Bill, who in return referred me to another guy name Rick. I Found out that Rick is the one to informed me that they do not sell gas appliances. I have done business with Rick in the past, so I called him and set a time. I canceled the appointment from advise, to seek an Attorney’s advise.
    My wife and I have gone in, as my Attorney has, to check and see if any other gas appliance are for sell. Today my wife was in there around 1 pm, (11/25) and the man that sold her the dryer was at the register. He was in the register, took money out and put it in his wallet. My wife approached him and asked him if that what he did with the money from the sale of the dryer, He looked right at her and smiled and stated he had know idea what she was talking about. She was basically called a liar. if you post this or not, I at least got this off my chest. Thank you for that.
    David Williams

    Reply
  3. Vincent

     /  January 11, 2014

    Dear Readers, please take heart that your voices are being heard. I met recently with a group of people who have been in discussion over some of these events, and others that have come to light, since Mr. Chambers took the helm at the mission. Some of the people, who must remain nameless at this time, include local clergy, lawmakers, law enforcement, and business owners. There are deeper scandals brewing at the mission and there will be, within the next few months, more revelations coming forth about the activities of the above named individuals and more. During my tenure as case manager at the mission, I was able to develop some relationships with individuals who are still willing and able to provide me with updates about what is happening behind closed doors at the mission. As a Christian I can assure you that what is done in secret will come to light, and when you perpetrate the kind of behaviors that are currently going on at the mission, under the guise of a Christian ministry, it will be revealed.

    Ken Owens and Mike Adams do indeed live together and it is true that Ken is alleged to have been engaging in questionable activities with the male students for some time. One of the mission provided vehicles in Ken’s possession was apparently stolen by a former student that Ken allegedly had dealings with and Ken’s email at the mission is also in the name of a former student. I questioned this email discrepancy prior to leaving the mission when I discovered that the header on Ken’s internal emails showed up as a students name, instead of Ken Owens. I asked Ken if I had the right email and he explained that it was a former students name who he was “close” to. I began saving all documentation from that day on as it was obvious to me that there were some very questionable relationships being sought by Mr. Owens.

    As far as Rick Reynolds at the Production center and the sale of donations, he has been directed by the former and current administration to sell, sell, sell. They are not concerned with anything other than generating revenue, regardless of how they do it; particularly any ethical restraints that should be in place in an organization that uses Christian ministry as a front. The gentleman who is reported to have been taking money from the till at the production center is most likely a student who has graduated to the level of intern, not a mission employee. There has long been speculation about the theft of funds from the production center but nothing has ever been pursued. The reason being that this is tantamount to stealing from the donors who have given the items to the mission and the publicity over such a scandal is more than the powers that be are willing to endure. Another in a long list of dollars and cents motivations from an organization that is supposed to serve the least, the last, and the lost.

    Reply

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