Local Shelter Accused of Harboring Drug Addicts and Prostitutes, Attacks Reporter for Exposing Alleged Corruption
Consider the following report as a fact-based expose’ with a hint of subjective rhetoric, simply because this community deserves to know the truth no matter how bad it hurts or how much hatred it brings towards this reporter and RNRF as a whole.
If I were to tell you that your tax dollars and kind-hearted donations were being misappropriated and not used as they should, would you be upset and demand answers? If I told you that the leaders in your community were doing everything they could to hide information that would expose those allegations, wouldn’t you want to know?
Now, every community has at least a hint of “corruptions” or more commonly referred to as “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” That’s just politics in general and it will never end. But I’m not talking about a little back scratching, I’m talking about an alleged fraudulent organization that hides behind a heartfelt, commendable resource that helps poor, helpless women and children. Hate me yet? Well don’t take my seemingly cold hearted comments as an indicator that I dislike women and children; quite the opposite. I defend the rights of all people – men, women, children, black, white, Christian, Jew, and even Muslims. I don’t care who you are, Real News Real Fast will report the good of any individual or group but we will “HAMMER” the fakes, frauds, and scam artists who hide behind a commendable operations and use their power to demonize the messenger.
So now that I have your attention, here is what RNRF has discovered over a three to four-year investigation into a secret compound that claims to protect women and children from violence, substance abuse, and even sexual abuse. Over the course of our investigation we have discovered that all of the above has occurred in and around the facility but every time we expose it, the organization declares war on RNRF and attempts to destroy our reputation and financial ability to continue daily operations. I’m talking about Salvare Inc. or Dawn Center of Hernando County.
In 2014, RNRF posted an exclusive report entitled Shelter or Sham, Dawn Center Nightmare. In that video, RNRF spoke to several residents to live around the Spring Hill based facility who claim they’ve dealt with drug abuse, sexual activity, and even prostitution on their property. Despite several attempts to contact Dawn Center officials and local leaders, nothing was done to correct the problems. We even pulled the number of calls to service to the facility for one year and found that deputies responded to the facility 187 times. Other facilities only reported a fraction of that during the same year. Follow the link above for the full story.
Following that report, RNRF received a hailstorm of attacks from Dawn Center administrators and board members on social media, stating that I had a personal agenda and that I “was an abuser of many women.” They even went as far as posting a sign inside the facility and directed all members to view the poster that read:
But the attacks didn’t stop there; you see, April Johnson who is the facility’s Prevention and Community Awareness Advocate, and is responsible for attracting and acquiring local businesses to donate to the facility, posted comments similar to this on social media following my report.
In the weeks following those reports, I was contacted by a former employee of a short lived competitive online news source, Samuel McCall, who threatened me three times to sell the website back to him and to stop writing articles on the Dawn Center. On three separate occasions RNRF was offered $8,000 to ignore Dawn Center activities or else “I will see that your business is destroyed.” Our legal counsel has advised that we not expound further on the specifics of those allegations until a later date.
So, let’s fast forward to 2016-2017. During the several month investigation, RNRF received numerous calls from disgruntled women who left Dawn Center, claiming that the facility is filthy, is roach infested, and that services the organization claims to offer do not exist.
You can watch the full interview by following this link SHELTER “LAWYERS UP” AMID ALLEGATIONS THEY HARBOR DRUG ADDICTS AND PROSTITUTES.
During a phone interview with Melanie Ladd, she says the facility lied to her about services they had to offer, prior to her arrival. Melanie, who lives in Pinellas County says she could have gone CASA or one of the other facilities in Pasco or Pinellas but they didn’t have a bed available at that time. Melanie says Dawn Center promised group therapy and individual therapy but in the 4 weeks she stayed there they only offered one group session. Melanie also says roaches crawled up her legs and arms on several occasions while she was cooking her child breakfast.
Melanie’s concerns grew even worse when she noticed marijuana blunt roaches in the parking lot and women sitting around on the couches completely intoxicated. When Melanie asked for an explanation, staff members just told her “These women have been through a lot of trauma so we expect these issues to exist.” But Melanie argued “what about the safety of the children? Shouldn’t that come first?”
What pushed Melanie over the edge was when one of the women asked for a ride to Lollipops, a Hudson based strip club, so that they could “work,’ meaning work as a prostitute for the day and then return home to the Dawn Center later that evening. Melanie says Dawn Center officials just turned a blind eye to those accusations. Melanie further explained that staff members reiterated not to speak with [Tom Lemons] or Real News Real Fast because “He lies about us.” But Melanie says, “well it’s obvious that he’s not lying about Dawn Center and you’re just demonizing him to hide all the problems.”
Within a day of talking to Melanie, RNRF met with Ashley Wieder who made similar claims and said she thought she was walking into a safe place for her children but soon found out that the facility was mostly filled with homeless drug addicts who just needed a place to stay. Ashley says she witnessed women meeting their drug dealers at the gate to conduct drug deals. She also confirmed that prostitution was being overlooked by administrators and that she was asked by women for rides to their “destinations.”
But here’s what really caught our attention, both Ashley and Melanie say administrators are committing fraud by placing their names and the names of their children on a list of services they DIDN’T receive. Melanie says she watched as one of the staff members wrote her and her child’s name down on a list that said they consumed breakfast, lunch, and dinner, when in fact they did not. Melanie said, “Oh now I see how you get your funding, you lie about the number of people consuming products to increase your stats.” Melanie says she provided her own food because her children are picky eaters.
Ashley’s claims the same thing about food consumption but goes further by stating they she was placed on a list that states she received feminine products, even though Ashley says she doesn’t get her period. The staff member told her “Oh we have to place you on the list because you are of the age that usually receive them.”
With all this new disturbing information, RNRF once again attempted to contact President of the Board, Sheriff Al Nienhuis, Director, Shannon Sokolowski, April Johnson, and all other board members who serve on the Dawn Center Board. In addition, we contacted the Florida Coalition of Domestic Violence in Tallahassee, who are supposed to conduct oversight on all 42 domestic violence shelters in Florida.
Well, as expected the road blocks popped up and we never received anything but the bare minimum required by law. So far, we have received the 2015-2016 financial report and a list of salaries of those who work for the Dawn Center.
According to the latest financial report submitted by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) Dawn Center total support for 2016 was $1,035,136 with $581.434 in s state and federal funding and the remainder in donations. But get this, we just received a list Dawn Center Employees that shows a total of 28 paid employees with salaries and benefits totaling over $756,862.00 per year. Director Shannon Sokolowksi alone receives over $90,755 per year in salary and benefits.
All Board Members, Administrative Staff, and Volunteers have been warned numerous times to cease and desists all defamatory actions against this reporter and RNRF, without relief. We have sustained financial and reputational damage as a result of their egregious actions and it is our believe that actions are still being taken against RNRF by Dawn Center and all parties involved.
In an effort to discover what other possible illegal activity has been operating with Dawn Center, we requested email transactions between all employees of HCSO and any Dawn Center employee, but rather than receive the requested information, as we usually do from the records department, Sheriff’s Office Attorney Joel Fritton intercepted the emails and denied our request, based on exemptions through FL. Statute 119. Fritten stated, “Don’t worry, there’s nothing in there about you.”
We then sent a similar request directly to Dawn Center but instead of receiving a reply from a staff member, George Angelisdis of the Hogan Law Firm replied with the same denial and said to have our attorney contact him with any further correspondence. So now Dawn Center is spending more tax dollars to prevent a reporter from exposing potentially damning information regarding Dawn Center activities.
So, what do criminals do when they are being interrogated by law enforcement during an interview? They “Lawyer Up” so as to not incriminate themselves. Sound familiar?
Once again RNRF has reached a dead end and you the taxpayer will have to be satisfied with donating your hard-earned money and tax dollars to a secret organization that occupants say lie about the services they offer, allow drugs and violence on the grounds, and turn a blind eye to prostitution.
Note: some of the audio is difficult to hear. Increase the volume on our device or wear headphones.
In addition, we WILL NOT tolerate personal attacks against this reporter, RNRF, or any affiliate of RNRF. Claims that this reporter is a convicted felon and “abuser of many women” are completely false. Further accusations by any individual or member of Dawn Center will result in legal action by RNRF.
All questions and concerns can be submitted to [email protected].
Any person abusing these policies on the RNRF comment section or Facebook Page will be permanently banned.
If you would like to contact the Dawn Center Board Members please feel free to examine the list below”
- President – Sheriff Al Nienhuis, Hernando County Sheriff’s Office
- Vice-President – Tara Foreman- Account Executive, Bright House Media Strategies
- Treasurer – Tyler Stapleton- Vice President, Centennial Bank
- Secretary – Melissa Harts, Ph.D. – Dean of Institutional Technology, Pasco-Hernando State College
- Leanne Salazar – Chief Nursing Officer, Oak Hill Hospital
- Elizabeth Jennings- Recovery Room Charge Nurse, Oak Hill Hospital
- Karen Nicolai, Hernando County Clerk of Court (retired)
- Fran Howard – Assistant Principal Pasco County Schools, Hudson High School
- Brittney Oakland- Real Estate Agent Re/max Advantage- Oakland Team
- Ex Officio – Florida State Representative Blaise Ingoglia, Hartland Homes
- Congressmen Richard Nugent, 11th Congressional District Florida
- David Russell, Jr., Former Hernando County Commissioner
- Shannon Sokolowski, M.N.M., Dawn Center Executive Director
- April Johnson, Dawn Center Community Awareness Advocate
- Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (Possible defendant or witness)
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2017 RNRF Incorporated.