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$400k in pandemic assistance incorrectly distributed by a nonprofit

$400,000 was reportedly incorrectly distributed by a nonprofit organization after people applied for utility assistance during the pandemic.

counting money

The assistance was federal funding for those in need of the assistance.

The organization, Project Amistad, admitted to the mistake.

Nonprofit organization doesn’t properly distribute $400k of pandemic funding

According to CNY Central, Andrea Ramirez, the CEO of Project Amistad based out of El Paso, Texas, said they did in fact make the mistake.

She blamed it on a lack of guidance from the U.S. Treasury.

In the initial application, there was no clear distinction for who was eligible for the funding.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

According to Ramirez, they had to go back and look at the 10,000 customers they served to see was a homeowner. It turned out that only renters were supposed to qualify for the funding.

It wasn’t until January that the organization was told by the City of El Paso that they needed to return the money to the U.S. Treasury because it was only intended for renters.

A letter was then sent to those who had received money and were homeowners stating Project Amistad needed the money returned from the utilities to go back to the U.S. Treasury.

It was made clear in the letter that the funds were from the U.S. Treasury, so they needed to get it back.

How did this mistake happen?

Ramirez explained that during the application process, they have never needed to screen for someone being a homeowner or renter.

10,000 people were assisted by the program, and around 933 were homeowners that felt the impact of the error made.

A reevaluation of the client will be made to determine how much they may need to pay back.

Project Amistad has teamed up with Project Bravo to help those impacted by the mistake.


Renters can’t afford their rent, resulting in them being homeless

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