by William Skink
If you follow the comments on this blog, you may have noticed some interesting comments being made on an old post about Glacier Hope Homes, an alleged recovery program of sorts for veterans that is no longer in operation…or is it? We’ll get to that part in a bit.
First, the story of my involvement with exposing Glacier Hope Homes goes back five years, all the way to my time writing for 4&20 Blackbirds. In June of 2015 I wrote a post, titled A New Shelter for Vets or an Expensive Scam?
This post was a reaction to a local news story at NBC Montana that made it sound like the homeless veterans would be responsible for paying their own rent. After my coverage, NBC Montana amended their reporting. The first iteration of the story clearly stated that Glacier Hope Homes “will cost residents 1,500 per month.” That was later changed to this:
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.
Sensing something fishy was going on, I continued covering this story after starting RD. Here are the posts: Glacier Hope Homes Strikes Back?, Update On Glacier Hope Homes, More Stink Coming From Glacier Hope Homes, and this one: More Questions Than Answers In Missoula Indy’s Look At Glacier Hope Homes.
This represents three years of coverage by little old me, a blogger and citizen journalist who didn’t like the idea of Veterans with addiction and mental health issues being exploited by a scam artist.
If you read through those posts, you’ll find interesting little tidbits, like how our current Republican Senator, Steve Daines, made an appearance at Glacier Hope Homes in 2015. You’ll also discover that the Missoula Independent article is no longer available online, thanks to POS Matt Gibson and Lee Enterprises.
When the Indy was shuttered in September, 2018, its coverage of Glacier Hope Homes was one of the first things I thought about. In a post titled No New Indy Tomorrow…What Have We Lost? I had this to say:
After yesterday’s move by Lee and POS Matt Gibson, geared it seems to maximize the gut-punch factor, what we have lost as a community is just starting to be felt. For example, the Indy archive is no longer accessible. Apparently eliminating competition wasn’t enough for Lee. No, these corporate fuckers are erasing the Indy’s entire legacy.
When Tim Lloyd died of exposure last November, Brouwer (alerted by a tweet I put out) wrote a moving article about it. I wrote about it here, which you can still read, but the link to Brouwer’s piece now redirects to the Missoulian website.
Same obviously for the feature piece on Glacier Hope Homes put out in February of this year. I wrote multiple posts trying to bring attention to claims of abuse and mismanagement impacting homeless Veterans, and implored local media to take on what I couldn’t.
Now that piece is gone as well, so when this scammer starts up his scam in another community (Susan Shepherd, the author of the feature piece, reported he was moving to Texas), there won’t be a record of what was reported by the Indy regarding what was going on at Glacier Hope Homes.
I am emphasizing my own writing because it now appears quite prescient in light of recent comments being made on the Glacier Hope Homes Strikes Back? post. Before getting to those comments, I will add that old issues of the Indy do appear a little more accessible now, so this link should give you an idea of the Indy’s coverage three years ago (for an easier to read version, former Indy journalist Susan Shepard provided this pdf version of her story)
The first comment was made by “Zack Lindsay” on the night of October 22nd:
The second comment gives us a clue about why the first comment was made:
So, the benevolent Jason Stevens, who just wants to help veterans in need, appears to be up to the same shit he was in Montana, but now in Texas. And, like in Montana, it appears Jason Stevens has found other shady people to “help” him “help” others.
Someone by the name of “Lendell Braud” responded to the comment left by Zack Lindsay. This person claims to be a doctor and, from the comment, appears to have worked with Zach in a “professional” capacity. I put “professional” in quotes because I don’t know of any doctor willing to risk a HIPAA violation by exposing they are working with a patient in a professional capacity on a public forum. Here is the comment from “Dr. Lendell”:
Now that I’m curious again about these shady operators, I decided to see what I could find online. Here in Montana, Glacier Hope Homes is STILL LISTED (pdf) as a resource for housing in the Flathead:
I tried the link above, but it goes to a “coming soon” wordpress placeholder page. This “business site” for Glacier Hope Homes says they are a non-profit as of August, 2019 and apparently operating in Columbia Falls:
Even more concerning, Montana’s DPHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) STILL LISTS Glacier Hope Homes as a treatment provider:
I am kind of astounded that Glacier Hope Homes continues to have a presence in Montana on official government websites, and that unprofessional idiots associated with this organization continue making ill-advised comments on my blog posts.
This is a great and timely example of what happens when our corporate media cuts and slashes newsrooms like an 80’s horror flick, shady operators like Jason Stevens get to keep chasing money in potentially fraudulant “help” schemes.