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Community Resource Collaborative Under Investigation



A bombshell report published by WXXI has unveiled that Monroe County is embarking on a sweeping investigation into the financial operations of an organization responsible for allocating COVID-19 relief funds to outreach programs within the community.

 

In a letter sent to Community Resource Collaborative Inc. (CRC) on February 7, the county announced the suspension of all funding to the organization and the commencement of a comprehensive forensic audit into its initiatives. The audit was promptly initiated on Thursday.

 

County officials have leveled accusations against CRC, alleging that the organization has failed to fulfill its contractual obligations, which encompass the provision of services, maintenance of accurate financial records, and adherence to audit requirements for federal grants.

 

The notice emphasizes that should the forensic audit uncover any evidence of misconduct, the county will permanently sever its contract with CRC and report the organization to law enforcement authorities.

 

County Legislator Rachel Barnhart expressed her dismay regarding the lack of communication with lawmakers concerning the suspension of CRC's funding. She raised concerns about the oversight of an organization that seemingly acts as a mere conduit for ARPA funds, despite lacking the necessary experience and capabilities.

 

According to the company's official website, Community Resource Collaborative (CRC) is dedicated to empowering young individuals aged 18 to 24 who have been directly or indirectly impacted by various forms of violence, including gun violence, domestic violence, and trafficking.

 

Through collaborations with various entities across New York state and nationwide, CRC strives to successfully connect young people with the resources they require to navigate their traumatic experiences and embark on a journey towards personal peace. This includes addressing crucial needs such as housing, employment, mental health, and other essential services that support their basic human requirements and ongoing personal growth and healing.

 

CRC was established as a response to the urgent need to rapidly relocate individuals facing imminent or mortal danger from gun violence, domestic violence, trafficking, and other forms of violence. Since its inception in September 2021, CRC has successfully relocated eight families to safety and has expanded its scope to encompass diverse collaborations and community services in Rochester, NY. These efforts are conducted in partnership with like-minded organizations and companies such as Pathways to Peace, SNUG, and Saving AJ, all working towards flattening alarming statistics related to violence.

 

IRS records indicate that the company's gross receipts did not exceed $50,000 in both 2021 and 2022. However, in 2023, CRC was awarded a contract by the county to serve as the fiscal agent for the Neighborhood Collaborative Project, which aimed to bring together several neighborhood nonprofits for grassroots outreach initiatives. The county allocated $7.2 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to this project, to be disbursed over a four-year period. Furthermore, the county alleges that CRC made false claims or statements during the award process. These allegations were detailed in a certified letter signed by Faye Pelow, the county's community development initiatives manager, and obtained by WXXI News.

 

Cameron Community Ministries, one of the organizations involved in the Neighborhood Collaborative Project, chose not to comment, awaiting further guidance from the county.

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