Getting Rich on Refugees

November 29, 2015


Gettin’ Rich off Refugees? or “Are “Non-Profit” Chieftains Raking it In?

June 12, 2013


OMAHA, NEBRASKA (exclusive) by Ivy Harper

Since early March, I’ve been working on an investigative, enterprise journalism blog-piece about the “privatization” of once-upon-a-time “social/family” services.
These days, “Family Servies” Directors- who formerly had Public Servant-like salaries – stack their “Boards of Directors” and “give” themselves salaries that more closely resemble excessive corporate + Wall-Street-like salaries.
In the summer, I investigated York, Nebraska’s Epworth Village and truth be told, I was dismayed at much of what I found. (You can read these articles on my blog: – just put in “Epworth Village” in the search line.)
In 2013, I decided to focus on Lutheran Family Services where I began to deconstruct their IRS Form 990. Same scenario.
Turns out, the couple that runs LFS “earn” more a quarter of a million dollars together; this money mostly comes from the federal government.
Though while Ms. Grace (OWH columnist) is focusing on the refugees themselves, I’m trying to figure out how a federally-funded “non-profit” can pay such high salaries at the same time that the LFS Director is married to the LFS Vice-President of Finance, who doubles as the auditor + “handles” all the books.
This is an unusual scenario notwithstanding the fact that the LFS Board of Directors approved the arrangement.
I will attach LFS’s mandated-to-the public 2011 IRS Form 990.
Please refer to Part IX, Page 10 where under the category of “Other” – wherein normally a relatively-speaking small figure is inserted – Lutheran Family Services has:
Other: $1,990,128.00
When I asked Mr. Henrichs – the husband of the head of LJS – to tell me what was included in that nearly $2 million-dollar “Other,” he came up with – approximately – services amounting to around $ 1 million, one-hundred thousand; however, he would have to get back to me to explain the other $900,000.00 (nine hundred thousand) dollars worth of federal monies. He never did.
He did state that he thought the unaccounted for $900,000 dollars was “for volunteer” services.
When I responded that I didn’t understand how “volunteer services” could account for nearly one million dollars as the definition of “volunteer” is not being paid for one’s work aka no money going out.
I’m confused, I said. Again, he answered that he would “get back” to me…but he did not.
What’s also fascinating is that I personally know a boatload of church-going Omahans who – as part of their church work – “sponsor” refugees and spend eons amount of time doing “refugee” services, placement, acclimation etc. for free, as volunteers. So, where’s all that federally-funded money going? Is it – as it should – be “trickling down” to the actual refugees? Or those who do the hard-core work helping then?
Have you actually visited some of the decrepit places where some Omaha refugees actually end up?
to be continued.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: