You are on page 1of 7

May 20, 2019

Statement RE: United Youth Care Foundation/New Day Transitional Housing Program
Zalonda Woods

My Name is Zalonda Woods and I, along with my two children, <Redacted> (14) and
<Redacted> (8), lived at the Southpoint Apartments, at 3242 South Holden Road
Apartment F, from November 12, 2018 to April 14, 2019 through a program run by
United Youth Care Foundation/New Day Transitional Housing Program. We lived in a
two-bedroom apartment, along with another woman and her two children. I believe that I
and other residents of South Point Apartments were discriminated against and subject
to differential treatment, harassment, threats and retaliatory evictions because of our
disabilities by the management of United Youth Care Foundation, and the management
of United Youth Care Foundation’s sister company, the New Day Transitional Housing
Program.

I am a person who lives with multiple disabilities. I have <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<redacted>>>>>>>>> I was declared disabled
as a child (while in foster care) and cannot work, and I receive Social Security Benefits.
The management of United Youth Care Foundation, and the New Day Transitional
Housing Program were aware of this and chose to take advantage of my disability
status and my Medicaid insurance.

After being told that I was eligible to enter an emergency shelter program for homeless
women and children, I was given access to 3242 South Holden Road, Apartment F on
November 12th, 2018 by United Youth Care Foundation. I did not understand that I was
actually being enrolled in a transitional housing program, called “New Day Transitional
Housing Program”, which was tied to a fraudulent Medicaid scam, which is referred to
as an “extensive outpatient treatment program”, run by United Youth Care Foundation.

The agencies involved, named United Youth Care Foundation and New Day
Transitional Housing Program, appear to have many of the same people in
management positions and it was never clarified to me who was my actual landlord or
what the terms of my lease were. When I received a demand letter on March 18, 2018,
which threatened me with eviction, it came from United Youth Care Foundation,
although I was told many times that I was a part of the New Day Transitional Housing
Program, which ostensibly is a different entity. There are other people living in the South
Point Apartments, many of whom do not have diagnosed disabilities, and many of
whom do not participate in the United Youth Care Foundation treatment program, but do
pay rent to the New Day Transitional Housing Program, so I did not fully grasp what
type of program I was getting myself into when I and my children moved in. I was
unaware of the differential treatment, harassment and mistreatment I would be subject
to simply because the program operators wanted to make a profit off of my disability
status.

The New Day Transitional Housing Program accepts both tenants who are enrolled in
the United Youth Care Foundation extensive outpatient treatment program, and tenants
who are not enrolled. While conditions are poor for all tenants at South Point, New Day
Transitional Housing and United Youth Care Federation prey upon people with
disabilities, such as me, to fund their operation using Medicaid funding for treatment.
Once enrolled as in the New Day program, the United Youth Care Foundation picks
people who receive Medicaid funding and fraudulently diagnose individuals with medical
and mental health conditions, and they forge documents in order to get the Sandhills
Center (a Local Management Entity-Managed Care Organization) to approve Medicaid
funding for fraudulent extensive outpatient care sessions, which United Youth Care
Foundation profits from. People living at South Point who are enrolled in the United
Youth Care Foundation program, such as myself, are expected to attend treatment
sessions, which covers the cost of our housing and earns profit for United Youth Care
Foundation and the New Day Transitional Housing Program, but we are also then asked
to contribute even more to the rent for our horrible slum housing, whereas people who
do not have disabling conditions and do not receive Medicaid funding are not expected
to participate in the extensive outpatient program and can simply pay rent to the New
Day Transitional Housing Program. Individuals who are enrolled in the United Youth
Care Foundation treatment program are often subject to discriminatory treatment and
retaliatory evictions, which is not the case for people who do not have disabilities and do
not receive funding for treatment.

Furthermore, I believe that United Youth Care Services and the New Day Transitional
Housing Program took advantage of me because of my disability by fraudulently
changing my paperwork, adding false diagnoses to my file (padding diagnosis for
treatment), and charging Medicaid for treatment which I did not receive. The “treatment”
sessions which I did attend were not professionally run and did nothing to improve the
lives of participants or treat our diagnoses. Furthermore, because the managers of the
United Youth Care Services and New Day Transitional Housing Programs fraudulently
add diagnoses to individual files, including my own, the treatment I received was
inappropriate and, I believe, exists solely for the purposes of generating revenue for the
aforementioned companies.

When I questioned a drug screening, which the New Day Transitional Housing Program
mandated I take, and asked to see my file, I was refused access to my file, and then
threatened with eviction. I saw similar instances of abuse against people living with
disabilities during my time there. They arbitrarily evicted, harassed and threatened
people with disabilities in order to force them to comply to their fraudulent Medicaid
payment scam, while other people living at the South Point Apartments were not subject
to the same arbitrary evictions or cruel treatment.

At this point, I’d like to explain how I got into this situation.

I was approached by a representative of Youth Care Foundation while I was leaving the
Department of Social Services building in November 2018. I, and my children were
homeless at the time. I was asked if I needed housing and if I received Medicaid. I
responded affirmatively to both questions. They then told me that I was eligible to be
enrolled in an emergency shelter program for women and children which offered
optional services, such as drug counselling. This was a false pretense for my moving
into the South Pointe Apartments. I did sign a form, which they said was needed to get
me into housing, but I was unclear about the stipulations of the program and believed I
was going to an emergency shelter service.
After a couple weeks in the program, I was told that in order to continue living at the
South Point Apartments through the New Day Transitional Housing Program, I had to
submit to a drug screening, which I questioned. I was then directed to a caseworker
who acted unethically. The caseworker stated that if I claimed to not be on drugs, I
would be terminated from the program, because they required us to attend treatment
sessions so that they could bill Medicaid for that treatment. I then asked to view my
paperwork to review what I had signed when I enrolled in the program and to know what
was on my file. I was told by the company that their printer did not work, and I could not
receive a copy. I was then shown a two-paragraph synopsis of what they claimed was
my file on the office computer. I saw that they had put false information in my file about
my medical and mental health conditions. I also saw multiple forms where they had
forged my signature. They misspelled my name on at least one form (in the signature)
and I know I did not sign many of the forms they put before me.

My supposed file stated that my stated goals were to get off drugs and get a home. I
told the woman in the office that I had never said those were my goals, and that I wasn’t
on drugs. I was told that I should be grateful to receive housing and that I should “shut
up” or else Tonya Neal, the housing manager, would kick me out of my apartment.

My case worker’s name was Nicole. She said that I could not be trusted because I was
asking to view my file and that I was causing problems by interfering with other people
receiving treatment, because they too were starting to ask to view their files. Nicole
asked me to write down my prescriptions from a document that they apparently had in
my file, but that they could not print because of printer problems. The document on the
computer stated that I was an active cocaine user and an alcoholic with psychotic and
paranoid delusions. All of those claims are false, and totally fabricated. I was never
tested for cocaine use, nor do I use cocaine, nor did I receive a psychiatric evaluation
warranting such diagnoses.

Upon learning about my file, I got upset and attempted to speak to several staff. I did
speak to one of the directors, Mr. Graves, who claimed that the situation and my
paperwork was a mistake. Later, when staff from Sandhills reviewed my file with me,
they showed that the claim about cocaine use had been removed, but the claim that I
was drinking a gallon of liquor each day at the facility was still on the paperwork. I
informed the Sandhills staff that I was not a cocaine user and that I drank socially, but
certainly not a gallon of liquor per day.

I was asked to identify my own signatures on my files by the Sandhills staff, and I
observed that there were multiple versions of my name was on the records, indicating
that other people had filled out my paperwork pretending to me. As previously stated,
one of the forged signatures in my file from New Day/United Youth Care Services had
my name misspelled. Furthermore, my file had claims about my past as a troubled
youth which were inaccurate. The file made false claims about my childhood that I never
reported, and said I was suffering emotionally from this trauma.

After I spoke with Sandhills, the United Youth Care Foundation claimed that I never
signed a consent to treat form (the initial form to enter the program which I signed in
November 2018). I presume they made this claim in response to my raising the issue of
signature forgeries. I believe Sandhills has gotten many complaints about the United
Youth Care Foundation and New Day Transitional Housing Program, but to my
knowledge, they have yet to take any disciplinary action against them.

When I was given access to 3242 South Holden Rd Apt F, the apartment was rat-
infested, and cats also came up through the drain and accessed the interior of the
apartment. I believe the apartment complex was previously condemned, and that United
Youth Care Foundation had created an agreement with the owner of the property to
move people in despite numerous ongoing code violations.

After I complained, it took the apartment management company months to get someone
to plug the hole so that animals could not come in. The kitchen sink overflowed when I
use the bathroom sink. I was told that the pipes were connected. I complained
numerous times, and then they cut the water off to the sink. The carpet was extremely
dirty, and the apartment had never been cleaned during my time there, nor do I believe
it was cleaned before I moved in. The property at South Point has sewage running
through the apartment complex. It is apparent to me that the management of United
Youth Care Foundation and New Day Transitional Housing Program did not care about
the conditions of my apartment, or other disabled participants of the program, because
they viewed us as poor and disabled people who would not push back. While conditions
are poor throughout the apartment complex, when non-disabled people, who were not a
part of the Medicaid scam, asked for things to be attended to, the management
responded much more quickly, and they did not threaten these tenants with eviction for
arbitrary rule infractions.

After many months of United Youth Care Services running their fraudulent transitional
housing program, the management of South Pointe said they no longer want Youth
Care Services, or its sister organization, New Day Transitional Housing Program, there.
New management at South Point Apartments have stated that they are distancing
themselves and told United Youth Care Foundation that they needed to change the bills
for water and electricity and put them in the apartment company’s name after the
electricity was shut off for several days in March 2018. The housing coordinator for New
Day Transitional Housing, Tonya Neal, repeatedly turned off people’s lights and water if
they did not come to the center to sign their name for treatment, or if they failed to pay
rent for housing. Again, I witnessed this being done to people who had Medicaid
funding, as opposed to people who did not have Medicaid and paid out of their own
expenses.

The police have intervened many times when residents called for police assistance
because their children were affected by water shut offs and power shut offs, or because
their belongings were literally thrown into the street by the staff of New Day Transitional
Housing Program/United Youth Care Foundation. The police have informed United
Youth Care Foundation that the practices of cutting utilities off due to residents breaking
arbitrary rules is unlawful, and they threatened United Youth Care Foundation in order
to get utilities back on for many clients.

In February of 2019, we were informed that the housing name had officially been
changed from United Youth Care Services to the New Day Transitional Housing
Program. Security personnel asked me to sign a paper that stated that I would adhere
to specific rules which I did not agree with and felt violated my rights. I was already
suspicious of the management because they had forged my signature multiple times on
other documents. This form was presented to most residents, but I complained and
refused to sign. I was not allowed to get a copy of the form, nor was anybody else who
asked. I was then told that I had to see another Director, Sandra Grace, who was seen
as ‘the enforcer’ of rules for United Youth Care Foundation/New Day Transitional
Housing Program.

Sandra Grace is a former Department of Social Services supervisor, and I believe many
who work within this program are also former DSS staff. When I spoke to her about the
form I was asked to sign, Sandra Grace insinuated that a DSS complaint could be made
against me because my housing was unstable. I took this to mean that she was
threatening me to try to remove my children from my care because I refused to
participate in their fraudulent Medicaid payment scam. She said that security personnel
were in my home waiting to “get the word” to throw my things out if I did not agree to
sign the document.

I signed this document because I felt coerced. I was told that I was not allowed to leave
until I signed the paperwork. The van which transported us between the South Point
apartments and the United Youth Care Foundation offices at 1207 4th St, Greensboro,
NC 27405 had already left and the only way I had to get back to the apartment was by
signing. Several weeks later, United Youth Care Foundation Staff informed me that I
was banned from coming to the facility (at 1207 4th Street) until I did another
assessment with their staff. Because they had already forged my documents and taken
advantage of my disability status in order to bill Medicaid for services, which I did not
need, I was not motivated to submit to another assessment.

United Youth Care Foundation served me a demand letter on March 18, 2019, stating
that I was no longer adhering to the rules to come to the facility to receive services and
that I needed to vacate the property. They claimed that if I did not leave the property
within ten days, they would start eviction proceedings against me. I responded, stating
that I could not go to the facility because I was banned from the program, and that I was
placed in the program under false pretenses. I told them that I would leave once I could
find stable housing of my own.

Because I believed my rights were being violated, I asked the management of New Day
Transitional Housing Program/United Youth Care Foundation if they were willing to
meet with me, along with a representative of the Greensboro Housing Coalition, who
were acting as my advocates, several times. They declined each of my requests. Then,
one day after this, multiple members of New Day’s staff ambushed me, demanding that
I sign their paperwork which had multiple false claims within it.

I moved out my unit on April 14, 2019, thanks to receiving assistance from the
Greensboro Housing Coalition, who helped me pay deposit costs on my new apartment.

In addition to what I described above, I believe that the United Youth Care Foundation,
and the New Day Transitional Housing Program are doing many more illegal activities. I
believe they are prostituting tenants out in order to receive housing services, and that
the staff are selling drugs to clients. People told me that Tonya Neal, the housing
coordinator, failed a drug screen with Sandhills. People have died after using the drugs
sold or given to them by management, and one person died after they were locked out
because they could not pay rent on top of their treatment participation. I witnessed this
organization evict a woman with babies in her arm, sending them out in the rain simply
because her Medicaid funding ran out. The staff laughed at her while she cried. I was
able to raise money to get this woman into a hotel and I convinced her family to play a
more active role in her life.

Several clients received Department of Social Services cases due to the conditions of
the housing at the South Point Apartments, or because of the lack of services in the
New Day Transitional Housing Program. The United Youth Care Foundation daycare is
not code compliant and the workers were known to smoke cannabis while on the job. I
complained to management about this. They then hired one additional worker and have
asked clients of the housing program volunteer within the childcare program.

When parents complain to the management at the New Day Transitional Housing
Program about the treatment their children receive, they are threatened with eviction if
they do not put their kids in the daycare and get to class (treatment). The children are
fed very little and proper supervision is lacking. Children have gotten hurt and the
younger children are frequently bullied by the older children. My children were getting
bullied and even got into a fight. After this, I told my children that they would never go
back to New Day Transitional Housing Program’s childcare services regardless of what
the management said. I believe that the management may be paying or coercing people
to give success stories about their program.

The pressure to put children into the day care center is also dependent on whether you
have a disability or not. Again, the motive is profit for the company. They need people
with a diagnosis to attend treatment services so they can make money, and part of that
is forcing you to put your children in unsafe childcare situations. People without
disabilities, who can work and pay rent on their own, are not required to put their
children in such unsafe situations.

This place is an atrocity. I cannot believe that multiple city agencies know about the
horrid conditions at this company, the lack of services, the fraudulent Medicaid
treatment program, the unlawful evictions, etc. etc. etc., and yet I keep being told that
nothing can be done. Like many others, I left this facility outraged and did not receive
the help I should have gotten.

I now live in my own home and I hope no one else moves into housing services
affiliated with United Youth Care Services or New Day Transitional Housing Program.
These companies are irresponsible and unethical, they prey on people with disabilities
and the conditions in these facilities are unsafe. More people will die if this place is not
shut down.