By William Skink
When I got an email last month from Indy reporter Susan Shepherd about an upcoming story about Glacier Hope Homes, I was intrigued. What would turn up?
For a quick recap, I first wrote about Glacier Hope Homes in 2015, when I was still a contributor to 4&20 Blackbirds. Though comments on that post were mentioned in the Indy article, my subsequent attempts to bring attention to this potential scammer exploiting Veterans in the Flathead were not. Maybe if I had responded to that email this blog’s role would have been included in the story. Oh well.
After reading the article this morning, then thinking about it while I drove to work, two things stand out that leave me a bit confused. The first is that the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office “confirmed that it has issued a warrant for Stevens’ arrest on a felony bad check charge.” The second comes near the end of the article. Shepherd writes:
Stevens says he has been spending a lot of time traveling to Texas in order to set up another shelter, to be called Veterans Hope Home, in the Houston area. “We were just awarded our contract, so I will be headed back down there in a week,” Stevens says. “It’s a Homeless Veteran Grant. It’s a grant for homelessness.” The VA hasn’t yet responded to a request to confirm the award.
How can someone with a warrant for his arrest on felony forgery charges feel free to travel around the country to set up the next scam in another state? Why has Jason Stevens not been arrested? Has he already fled Montana? Is this scam artist exploiting Veterans not a priority for the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office?
The website for Glacier Hope Homes is still up and still advertising services Stevens himself, in the article, admits are not being provided to Veterans. Services like job placement and money management training. How can this be allowed to go on?
I’m glad the Indy did this story, but now am wondering if it will amount to anything. If Jason Stevens is allowed to keep lying and ripping people off in another state, those future victims will have the inaction of authorities in Montana to thank for letting this scam artist saunter away to find suckers in Houston because he ran out of suckers in the Flathead willing to buy his bullshit.
One of those suckers was a Senator looking for a photo-op with Veterans, Senator Steve Daines:
Sen. Steve Daines visited for the ribbon-cutting and spoke to the first group of veterans to stay there. A photograph Daines posted to Twitter shows him standing on a portable stage in front of rustic buildings, talking to a number of men in veterans’ regalia sitting on folding chairs arranged on the grass.
Maybe Tester’s office will get involved since Veterans are a very important demographic to his reelection efforts. I don’t think it would look very good if authorities in Montana allow a scam artist taking advantage of Veterans to potentially victimize more Veterans in another state.