NASHUA — Despite a recent report from the Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Unit detailing significant financial flaws within Harbor Homes, the city has allocated thousands of dollars to the agency during the current budget cycle.
“An award to Harbor Homes in the amount of $26,626 was approved as part of the (fiscal year) 2020 budget,” said Carrie Schena, urban programs manager with the city.
The funding was originally earmarked for two different programs — the Harbor Care Health and Wellness Center in the amount of $8,975, and the Peggy and David Gilmore Medical Respite Center in the amount of $17,651.
In a memo to aldermen, Schena said she was notified by Harbor Homes in August that the medical respite program had been temporarily closed. The agency was instead requesting that the funding assigned to the program be transferred to the Harbor Care Clinic Program.
The request came just weeks before the Attorney General’s report was unveiled, stating that Harbor Homes has a shortage of cash, its entities have suffered combined losses from 2015 to 2018 of $851,618, it has extensive miscellaneous transactions and frequently redirects resources among its many organizations and programs to cope with its shortage of cash.
Harbor Homes said earlier that it disagrees with much of the report, maintaining it is unclear how the loss of $851,618 was calculated. It contends a net income for all entities of about $280,000 during that same three-year time period. Harbor Homes also maintains that although cash was moved between entities temporarily, the transactions were properly authorized and supported.
When Schena received the request to reallocate city funds, it was reviewed by the Citizens Advisory Commission for Community Grants, which ultimately recommended to allow Harbor Homes to apply the funds to the Harbor Care Clinic.
However, Schena stated in her memo to city officials that the funding reallocation comes with a stipulation — the agency is required to submit a detailed report accounting for the expenditure of funds before any future funds will be considered.
“This report would be above and beyond what is typically required as part of the standard application,” she wrote. “Allowing the funds to be used toward the Harbor Care Clinic Program does not change the amount in the adopted budget.”
Peter Kelleher, CEO of Harbor Homes, said earlier that Harbor Homes and its affiliates have an estimated $10 million in assets through property holdings that are not reflected in the financial ratios mandated by the state.
“We are proud to be a go-to agency, often the first to stand up and help when a problem arises that others may be wary to address,” Kelleher said in a recent statement. “This approach requires a lean operating model, which means when we were needed, we sometimes rose to help before all funds were 100 percent secured, trusting that our community of donors and grant funders would join us to solve some of New Hampshire’s most pressing issues.”