Saturday, November 13, 2010

Yet more news on Mohanna's new women's shelter

Somewhere in the large rectangular building, on the southside of No. C Street is where the new women's shelter has been constructed. I 'believe' the shelter is in the area of the lower middle section. Loaves & Fishes new warehouse is nearing completion at the northwest corner of Ahern and N C St.
Quickly, bringing readers up-to-speed with what’s already been reported on in this blog [see here and here] re Mohanna's Shelter:
  • Mohammed H. Mohanna — known as Moe Mohanna — is a prominent Sacramento real estate developer who has created a women’s shelter, next to the Women’s Empowerment organization, within the long building on the southside of North C Street in the Loaves & Fishes’ Mall of Services [see map].
  • The shelter does not yet have approvals from the city for the construction that has been completed, nor for habitation, by solo woman, to begin.
  • We learned of this new shelter from a column in the October 21 issue of the Sacramento News & Review.
  • Loaves & Fishes is replacing warehouse space it has been renting from Mohanna in his building with a new warehouse, costing a munificent $1,700,000, that is near completion. [L&F’s new warehouse is at the northwest corner of North C Street and Ahern. (see map)]
I have now learned that Loaves & Fishes was paying Mohanna $5,000/month rental for warehouse space (and possibly other space in the building which L&F rents, which includes the area that is the Friendship Park Library).

According to public records from the Sacramento County Accessor’s Office, Mohanna’s property on North C is assessed as having a value of $400,000, with improvements valued at $850,000.

It is known that Loaves & Fishes’ CEO Libby Fernandez and Mohanna do not get along, personally, and that their dispute is “playing out” in moves each has made recently. Loaves & Fishes is ‘replacing’ the warehouse space in Mohanna’s building with a brand-new warehouse the nonprofit is building at the corner of North C and Ahern. The new warehouse is costing the soup-kitchen charity $1,700,000 dollars, a mighty sum that could otherwise be used to restore lives and save lives.

Mohanna has fashioned a women’s shelter within his long building on N. C Street, next to the offices therein of Women's Empowerment. Before women can move in, the city must sign off on construction that has been done without first getting proper permits. Because of the great need for shelter for the homeless this winter, approval of the construction, and an OK for habitation, is overwhelmingly likely to be forthcoming, despite rattled feelings by L&F bigwigs. I am told that Loaves & Fishes’ “stock is down” in city offices, including that of the mayor.

The new shelter space, while not yet functioning as space for the sheltered, is described as neat, well-laid out, and carpeted. Those who have seen it have been wholly impressed. I am told the area is now a beehive of activity with women happily using computers set up there.

As to matters on the other side of No. C Street, no one I talked to can figure out what the mighty in Loaves & Fishes' so-called Ivory Tower think they're doing. They're spending $1,700,000 for a warehouse to store … What!? Stale pastries?

An organization the size of Loaves & Fishes has storage needs, of course, but it seems ridiculous to spend so very much to store so much that is of so little value. L&F has quantities of food that it must keep, and donated items of wide variety, but the great majority of this stuff should be near-immediately used, either by the nonprofit, itself, or given away to help homeless and other poor people. While space is tight within the rooms, offices and meeting areas at the Loaves & Fishes complex, there is storage space.

If you do the math, it seems that Loaves and Fishes paid 340 times it’s monthly rental of warehouse space to have its own warehouse. That converts to a rental equivalent of what would be paid over the course of 28 years. And yet, homelessness is supposedly going to pretty much end in ten years. It certainly seems that a nonprofit that doesn’t understand its mission has built a wildly expensive warehouse that doesn’t have much of a function. The Gang that Doesn’t Feed Straight shoots itself in the foot. If agreement couldn’t be made with Mohanna for warehouse space, there are lots of empty warehouses in the area to rent space from. Again, donor money is not efficiently spent by L&F. But, heck, it’s nothing important; it’s just donors’ money. And they ask so few questions. The money practically falls out of trees.

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