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.

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  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.

    • Publius

      Initially Mike Hicks (Jasons grandson) was contracted to do the building. But due to underbidding cost overruns, delays and poor workmanship, another contractor was called in to clean up the mess (at great expense) that Hicks made. Also, vets that worked on the project for Hicks were paid late while the upper Mgt. always had their needs met.

      • LIar!

  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.

      • Publius

        Theres no mistaking the Jason Stevens of GHH with another Jason Stevens since I resided there and witnessed the the outright waste of funds and the diversion of funds meant for vets but instead going to His family members for new rental homes and vehicles.

    • Publius

      As a former resident of glacier hope homes I can attest to the fact that Stevens requires disabled veterans to do labor that they are not physically able to do in order to pay for their housing. Also, when vets pay out of pocket for gasoline to shuttle vets to appointments they are not paid back. Vets also are required to pay in part for their food.

  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.

  6. Angry vet 88

    This program is a hoax. Jason Stevens and his grandson Michael Hicks are both using the veteran named to fill their pockets. I know this personally as I was involved with them for about six months recently until I saw the corruption first-hand. Neither one of these guys are veterans nor do they care about our veteran community. I have heard this expressed to me first-hand by Jason Stevens himself. I have listened to him complain about our veterans and threatened to turn the ranch into rental property for the profit of himself his family and his Rich private investors. As a superintendent out there I’ve personally witnessed finances being filtered through the grandson before it went to trades that earned the money. There was also a fish market that was going on to support the program which was ran into the ground by his grandson and profits not distributed throughout the program. If I had to guess and it would be an educated one. Every cent went into the boys pocket. Stolen Valor my friends.

  7. Angry vet 88

    Not to mention upon leaving I was threatened on behalf of the company and investors by Michael Hicks

    • Washing Ton

      Hi, do you mind telling me if you were involved in the construction of the cabins out there? We may have met and I would be interested in gathering some information. If you have an email address, I would like to correspond with you.

      • Angry vet 88

        Yes I was involved in the construction side of things. I’m not sure how to give you my email address without it being broadcasted publicly. But I would be more than happy to correspond with you.

        • Hello Angry vet, I’m writing up a new post, and I would help connect you to Washing Ton.

          • Washing Ton

            That would be much appreciated.

          • Angry vet

            I would appreciate that

          • I don’t have access to this site anymore to get your emails, so email me here: willskink at yahoo dot com and I will pass along what I learned when I made some phone calls.

  8. Amidst a time of true controversy in this country, we don’t need people, mainly angry and disgruntled veterans who did not adhere to the programs standards, and were dismissed or voluntarily left because they needed to drug or drink. Most of the adversity towards Glacier Hope Homes is coming from recent ex donors, residents or a combination of them both. Glacier Hope Homes has been visited by regulating authorities on regular basis. Not only are they providing an excellent service to the veterans who need it, but they are currently expanding to house more veterans as they plan to take this incredible model for homeless veterans National. The naysayers and outright liars in these comments are being politically and financially motivated by rogue entities who wish nothing better than to cause mayhem within the Glacier Hope Homes Organization. A 501(c)3 Nonprofit organization.
    The aforementioned individuals have done nothing to help America’s Homeless Veterans. While our Board Members vote on everything that goes on and Jason Stevens is constantly being criticized for living like a King while the Veterans pay for his lifestyle is the most outrageous and irresponsible outlook on this Organization.
    Many of the aforementioned are mentally ill in one capacity or another and they make up the wildest stories about the on goings and operations at G.H.H., a standalone veteran’s shelter which does a tremendous service to the community by taking in Homeless Veterans. Housing,Feeding, Mental Health Professionals are on board, Staff in many capacities to include but not limited to are: Volunteers, Mental Health professionals,Marketing and Sales Professionals, Social Media staff, Equine and Farm Care. Some of these positions are filled by qualified veterans, that live on the nearly self sufficient 30 acre Farm in Columbia Falls.
    We invite any guest to our property to see for themselves what goes on here. Each of them leaves not only pleasantly surprised, but also asking how they can contribute.

    The 30 Acre Ranch has Horses,Cows,Chickens,Ducks,Turkeys and very happy,. very well cared for Veterans who need our services.
    Posting this kind of pessimistic, negative press about people that are doing so much and have such good intentions for each veteran charged to our care is despicable.

    You’re nothing but a bunch of psychotic,druggie,alcoholic disgruntled and discharged veterans and bad businessmen who had ill intentions for your donations to our organization and lack of control of our daily organizational functions. That’s what we have Board Members for. That’s what we have a staff for. Our donors who have gone rogue on us in the past, have no say, nor any authority to determine, who we house or hire onto our staff.
    So, since this Blog began in 2015, it is now 2 years later, and GlacierHopeHomes.Org is still here. We are getting better and better at what we do, with each passing day.

    And with a little less negativity, we should be able to accomplish our goals.
    Now, go back and hide under a rock somewhere. Shame on you! You’ve none nothing to deal with these veterans on a daily basis.
    And just to clear the air, our veterans live here and are cared for for nearly free. Those that are on SSI, Disability or has a source of income are asked to pay $80.00 per month towards their food costs. That is It! That $80.00 per month is nowhere near the actual cost that it takes to facilitate the needs of the veterans charged to our care. Resort? This is not Disneyland. But what is wrong with providing clean,safe housing to America’s veterans. That is one of the distinguishable factors that sets G.H.H. apart from the typical homeless shelters around the country. That is the design of our Mission and our Vision. To have Veterans Present,Past and Future living in par standard society, while working on their goals, living out their dreams and reconvening a normal life in the United States of America!
    But our adversaries would rather they live in dumps and roach and pest infested housing and discarded to the side as misfits!
    What is wrong with providing upper scale housing to America’s Veterans? They deserve it! They don’t need more of the same old poor treatment, low standard,low quality, low wages and alienation!
    They have room to grow here. They are treated with dignity and respect. They come and go when they please. If they don’t have transportation, we provide it for them. We’re not running any kind of Scam here folks.
    Currently, with the loss of one of our donors, it has been a setback. But we are resilient,resourceful and determined to make the Mission and the Vision a success.

    So again, you are welcomed to come out and tour our place anytime you’d like. We’re sure you’ll be pleased with what you see currently going on.
    The new construction in phase 2 is a little shy of completion. We are asking the public and corporate sectors for contributions to help us with construction costs and labor.
    Thank you
    Our GoFundMe account is:
    https://www.gofundme.com/GlacierHopeHomes

    In Phase 3 G.H.H. has plans to build even further on the farm to house as many as 500 more homeless veterans from around Montana and the Nation.

    If you have no positive words or contributions about G.H.H. on the internet, Shut your Mouth! You are only hurting veterans who do need our services,support and Love.

    • Angry vet

      You’re not fooling anyone

  9. http://www.nbcmontana.com/community/making-a-difference/glacier-hope-homes-gives-veterans-a-fresh-start_20160512151716146/10355161

    • Click on the Video above for a current look at our Organization. Thank you

  10. Dan

    I’ve had the privilege of being there twice and I believe it’s a scam the one main investor pulled out because he was being lied to and yes I would stand up in court and say what I’ve seen going on out there with investors money.

  1. 1 Glacier Hope | Reptile Dysfunction

    […] titled the original post with a question: a new shelter for Vets or an expensive scam? Multiple comments over the subsequent years seem to point to serious problems with this non-profit. […]




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