* The whole idea of having “lead agencies” in the governor’s anti-violence initiative oversee grants was because these established, local not-for-profits knew the area well, knew the terrain, knew the needs and knew the providers. So, what the heck happened here?…
Thousands of state anti-violence grant dollars from Gov. Pat Quinn’s scandal-tainted Neighborhood Recovery Initiative went to a south suburban nonprofit to help re-integrate freed teen and young adult prison inmates back into society.
It was a noble idea except for one thing.
The nonprofit that the state paid with anti-violence grant money to handle re-entry services in Thornton Township actually was operating out of a day care center in south suburban Dixmoor.
On top of that, it was later learned, there was really no re-entry program at all — nor any proof that the organization, Project Hope, Inc., did anything for the $15,770 it received from Quinn’s administration to perform re-entry services, state records show.
It took three months for the Healthcare Consortium of Illinois, the larger nonprofit that the Quinn administration put in charge of NRI spending in Thornton Township, to figure out the scheme and to begin the process of turning off the spigot of taxpayer dollars, state records show.
They never should’ve received that grant in the first place. A daycare center? Are you kidding me?
It appears from the story that one person at the local lead agency, Jaclin Davis, raised numerous red flags. Good for her. But Davis’ higher-ups at HCI really, truly messed up by handing out the grant in the first place.