A New Shelter for Vets or an Expensive Scam?

by William Skink

There’s a curious piece from NBC Montana about a new shelter for Veterans opening near Whitefish (h/t @Lgpguin). Maybe @Lgpguin will get some clarification on what is intended by the use of the word “shelter” since she asked for a definition. Here’s the opening details:

This summer, a shelter for homeless veterans is opening up near Whitefish.

Glacier Hope Homes will house 35 veterans.

The site currently operates as a resort on Hodgson Road. The new shelter will take over in the same location on August 4.

The property features 17.5 acres of land and 12,000 square feet of indoor space.

Officials are paying for the project via private investors, a federal grant and funds from Medicaid, Medicare and Veterans Administration benefits.

Glacier Hope Homes will cost residents $1,500 per month.

Um, ok. Kind of expensive for homeless Veterans to afford, but saying you’re helping Veterans does seem to create a warm glow that resists skepticism.

It would be great if the reporter (who looks like she just graduated J-School) employed some skepticism, though. Who are these officials? Who are the private investors? What’s the name of the federal grant? Will there be medical staff? If not, how does this “shelter” plan on billing Medicaid and Medicare?

There are no answers to any of these questions. Instead there’s this:

“We are going to take care of veterans, senior veterans and homeless veterans and encompassed in that is more than room and board,” said Glacier Hope Homes Executive Director Jason Stevens. “We are going to provide educational opportunities. We’re going to provide job opportunities. We have a lot of amenities.”

Stevens says the facility plans to launch a kind of buddy system, where veterans of different generations can pair off and get to know each other.

Maybe it’s just the short format of NBC Montana reporting, but to me Glacier Hope Homes sounds like a scam. I hope Glacier Hope Homes gets a little more scrutiny before they start serving homeless Veterans. Veterans have complicated issues that often require clinically trained professionals to address, especially if those issues have resulted in episodes of homelessness. Launching a buddy system just won’t cut it.

If this new shelter hasn’t done it’s due diligence, politicians will hear about it quickly. For all the criticism I’ve heaped on Jon Tester, his office has been very responsive to Veteran issues.

Thank you @Lgpguin for catching this one!

UPDATE

NBC Montana changed the article to better clarify who will cover the 1,500 dollar cost per resident. The first stab at this story clearly stated that Glacier Hope Homes, and I quote, “will cost residents 1,500 per month.” That apparently wasn’t accurate, so the article now reads:

Officials are paying for the project via private investors, a federal grant and funds from Medicaid, Medicare and Veterans Administration benefits to cover the $1,500 monthly cost of operation per resident.


  1. lizard19

    @Lgpguin found some more info about the formerly homeless Veteran starting this project at the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce.

  2. Leah

    If you are going to go on record bashing something you may want to be correct. Yes it will cost $1500 per resident which is paid not by the resident, but by private donations, federal grants, and Medicare/Medicaid.

    • lizard19

      NBC Montana clarified this point, so I will update the post. I’m glad they did, because it’s a very important distinction—who pays. so maybe you should direct your ire at the media source that inaccurately reported residents would be burdened with the cost. that is, after all, the entire reason I wrote this post. thanks for commenting, Leah.

  3. Kathie

    There seems to be a dispute as to whether they pay their employees. I would like to have an answer to that before I donate – to respect the workers there. Does anyone know if there is a high turnover rate of employment out there? That might be an indication of a problem. Thanks if you have any answers.

  4. steve

    I personally know that Jason Stevens left Omak, WA owing people money. He appears to be a man with big ideas and little follow-through. I have a $10,000 promissory note from him, which he has made no effort to repay. If he is involved, hold onto your wallet. I will be making a trip to Whitefish to look Jason up and try to collect on my debt. I am sure I am not the only one he left scammed in Washington.

    • onlinemail@bresnan.net

      Just now seeing this old email. How did it turn out? We had been carrying stuff around in our vehicle but never found anyone home to receive it.  

    • Annie

      Jason Stevens is a very common name. Be sure you are speaking about the same person before you go slandering someone.

  5. Washing Ton

    Jason Stevens is not a “rags to riches” success story. This man has had umpteen businesses in Washington all of which ended up utter failures. His previous group home in Omak was utterly filthy and the two residents were not well cared for. It was a flop house for his family and a chronic alcoholic/drug user. The reason why he became “homeless” is because the man who rented the house out to him and invested in his business scams became enraged after Jason owed him over $10,000 and had no way to pay it. He then ran away to Montana to stay with his grandson’s ex girlfriend who was a single mother. During his “stay” he did attempt to find work because he was too busy concocting more business scams. He was told to leave after a few months and then began staying in the homeless shelters. He now has his grandson building cabins for him who is a convicted thief in Washington and still has three active warrants. He also has other troubled family members staying there and working with the residents. Although the idea for the program is fantastic, Jason is not an honest man and this business should be heavily scrutinized.




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