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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

Honorary Members

  • 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. 



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  • I losty kids from that place…they have no sense of organization or care for anyone who lived there I was just living there I know everything they did I WARNED MY caseworker FROM Brooksville Fl DCS They didnt care they are another scam I TOLD HER I WAS BEGGING TO LEAVE N BE MOVED BECAUSE OF WHAT WAS HAPPENING BUT I TOOK IT UPON MYSELF TO GO N THEY TOOK MY KIDS BECAUSE OF IT..I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD SUE THEM IDK WHAT TO DO.. TOM LEMONS PLEASE EMAIL ME how do I reach you…

    Friday, 9 June 2017, 6:07 pm
    • God bless you I know how it feels to loose children. I lost my 2 oldest yrs ago. Do whatever it takes to get them back they need there mom. Idk if your in need of things for them when you get them back but if so let me know. I check this page all the time. That place and the ppl involved need to be shut down ASAP . Good luck to u n ur family

      Friday, 9 June 2017, 6:36 pm
      • Thank you so much Jen I will keep you in my prayers as well this has been the most devastating thing I have encountered this place is a joke n money hungry suckers donation stealers I know too much about this place and will be more than happy to provide my information my children were exposed to a lot here but thank you I appreciate your courtesy of the help if I need anything I will keep you in mind thank you may god bless you the same.

        Friday, 9 June 2017, 6:49 pm
  • This is a Republican run county. What did you expect?

    Thursday, 1 June 2017, 12:34 am
    • Your name described you to a T..

      Thursday, 1 June 2017, 10:06 am
      • Did I say anything that isn’t true? NO.

        Thursday, 1 June 2017, 3:56 pm
  • this is the place i’ve wanted to work at for many years (after spending 15 years as a Guardian Ad Litem and as a Family Support Worker, doing supervised visitation with dependency families. i’ve responded to all their job postings, but never once received a call regarding an interview. i called a few times to express interest, and was given a lot of nasty attitude and no help. how sad, if your article is true.

    Tuesday, 30 May 2017, 12:50 pm
  • keep up the good work Tom. Maybe Mr John Morgan would like to get involved maybe even his wife, or both.

    Monday, 29 May 2017, 7:02 pm
  • Beware of those who may have the agenda of turning America into something resembling the 1800’s in France. After the French Revolution, when Napoleon came into power, equality for women suffered a setback in a series of laws called the Napoleonic Code. Women owed their husbands complete obedience, and were not allowed to sell, give, mortgage, or buy property. This code was in effect for about 150 years. Only in 1965, were French women allowed to work without their husband’s permission. If the shelter is closed down, won’t the people seeking shelter there be thrown into the street? And won’t this make them illegals? If these people really are fleeing a dangerous or seriously abusive person, if they have no alternative, doesn’t this place power in the hands of the abuser? Is this where power should go?

    Monday, 29 May 2017, 9:29 am
  • So now it is time for a federal investigation…
    Good job Tom… Stay safe out there.

    Sunday, 28 May 2017, 9:00 am
  • Fran Howard, Assistant Principal of Hudson High School sits on the board that governs The Dawn Center,
    Anything she has a part in is corrupt . I have heard her tell stories of these poor women that reside in that horrible place, laughing and making fun of them, what is even scarier,she deals with children, she also treats them with no respect, I have worked with this woman, she is a monster.

    Sunday, 28 May 2017, 7:47 am
  • Beware of those who may have the agenda of taking America back to the time of the Napoleonic Code of laws in France. In the 1800’s in France, when Napoleon came into power after the French Revolution, equality for women suffered a setback for the following 150 years. Women owed their husbands obedience, and married women were not allowed to sell, mortgage, give, or buy property. In 1965, French wives finally got the right to work without the husband’s permission.

    Saturday, 27 May 2017, 11:48 pm
  • Dr. Mexico has a great idea. I’ve been saying it for awhile. Any and all politicians need to be banned for life from this county. A total cleanout. Any one affiliated banned as well. Neighborhoods need to be “Gerrymandered” and neighborhood leaders selected. Votes need to be taken and passed on to newly elected Supreme neighborhood leaders (Select neighborhood leaders will run for office). Any issue will be popular vote. No veto. No electoral. Popular!

    Principals, judges, lawyers, police officers, bankers, corporate, extremely wealthy…BANNED FOR LIFE

    Family members of anyone suspected of affiliations with undesirables BANNED FOR LIFE.

    Friends or noted sympathizers as well. BANNED

    If you elect leaders with your same interests in mind, a lot of garbage will move away. The real people will rise again.

    In this system, you will be able to run off anyone that runs afoul. No outsider will ever commandeer again.

    People should start throwing high character names in the hat. Folks that can’t be bought.

    Saturday, 27 May 2017, 8:57 pm
  • I am a woman who has been to the Dawn center with my children years ago, even back then there were many drugs that went through the facility. At that time it was the responsibility of the families living there to maintain the upkeep on the home, everyone had their own space for food they had to buy with their own food stamps so no money donated to the shelter goes towards food for the women or children. And not all the women that go there are innocently seeking shelter from their abusers, I’m not saying all that many times a situation can be avoided because we as women really know what to say to and do to get men to snap. I’m in no way saying that it’s right that any person puts their hands in another person, however; everyone has a breaking point, if you deny it your only fooling yourself. One person may be able to tolerate the weight of the world but at some point they will snap, others have a severe lack of self control.

    Saturday, 27 May 2017, 1:23 pm
  • Turn on the light of truth and watch the cockroaches scurry. It appears that they need to clean up their act.
    You know that you’ve touched a nerve when they use Alinsky tactics to personally attack your character in effort,
    to stone wall your investigation and marginalize criticism. Stay with it.

    Saturday, 27 May 2017, 12:21 pm

    Saturday, 27 May 2017, 6:09 am
  • Someone needed to expose the corruption of the “good old boys” in Hernando county. Keep it up Tom. Behind you 100%!

    Saturday, 27 May 2017, 12:14 am
  • This place is completely out of control. The abuse they exhibit is far worse than the abuse they claim to protect women from. This is simply a waste of taxpayer dollars handled by of crew of incompetent knowitalls.

    April Johnson, you should absolutely be ashamed of yourself. Do you even know the definition of abuse? To throw out a false accusation against someone who is shining a light on a overwhelmingly corrupt organization seems to be exactly what your organization is known for. I’m sure if Tom dug a little deeper, he’d run into other disturbing trends within the Dawn Center. For instance, offering counseling/therapy sessions by individuals that have zero formal training or qualifications. Or coaching for women going through divorces to give them an upper hand in the courtroom, at the expense of a spouse that may have never done anything wrong in the first place.

    Overall, I commend Tom for his reporting. The Dawn Center is a train wreck and does very little for women that are actually dealing with domestic violence.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 11:50 pm
  • Also, wouldn’t your requests fall under the Florida sunshine law, Tom?

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 7:57 pm
      • Tom, You know very well that chpt 119, the Sunshine Laws, has exemptions that protect certain individuals or events from disclosure. It is wannabe reporters like you who are costing the taxpayers money by testing and playing that system. Other than two very dubious sources who stayed there, you failed on every level to support your allegations and implications with any corroborated facts! (Implying the girl wanting a ride to lollipops was a prostitute and not a stripper, implying that the salaries must be fraud, implying that the board members are only spring boarding to politics……etc…). Tom, you have filled this article with unsubstantiated words (Many misspelled) designed to inflame your readership but you fall horribly short on corroboration. That is the difference between a true journalist and a blogger. No matter how many Geraldo Rivera specials you watch, you will never be him. Take a journalism class at PHSC. You may learn something.

        Saturday, 27 May 2017, 10:26 am
        • Johnny,
          did you read any of the above comments ? i read at least 4 or 5 more people that have personally been there to see the hot mess this onetime organization has become due to greed and corruption.

          Monday, 29 May 2017, 6:58 pm
      • I would love to speak with you.

        Friday, 9 June 2017, 6:17 pm

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 7:52 pm
    • Kinda missing the bigger point especially in this area. A lot of domestic abuse going on and there is no help for the people involved. What is your suggestion as to how to remedy the problem that when a person is in this situation rectify it, kill their abusers, go homeless? The prison system is filled with women accused of killing their abusers and no one is there to help them, nothing has changed in decades. Attitude of “you made your bed now lie in it” prevails.

      Saturday, 27 May 2017, 9:14 am
  • The only women who stay at the Dawn Center are the ones who are victims of their lifestyle. This is not the safe house you all believe it to be. It houses an ecclectic group of trash.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 6:50 pm
    • I can not believe that I am just now reading this!
      That is a VERY unfair and UNTRUE statement!
      1ST OF ALL.. I damn sure am not a victim of MY lifestyle! I was with my husband and my children’s father for 15 years…
      I came from a very dysfunctional family and grew up KNOWING that one day I was going to have to “break the cycle”
      I met my husband… the pastors son… And tried to do everything the “right”
      Having children and starting a family was the one thing i wanted to make sure I did right…. Waited 2 1/2 years to say I love you, 6 1/2 years to get engaged,
      3 years to have children…
      Not that all of those things can really protect you from the situation and I found myself in obviously… but I damn sure did everything I could think of to make sure that when I started my family I was not only ready, but I was with the right person and we were ready….
      My husband was an amazing husband and amazing father…amazing in every way for 12 years…
      Until he started steroids among other things and He then went from a man who Would have never even raised his voice at me without coming home and apologizing the next day to the type of man who can put his hands around my neck and strangle me while I’m holding his one year old daughter, the kind of man who could sexually assault his own wife while she screams stop and no the whole time…. The kind of man that can throw his own daughter back by her neck…..
      And as I mentioned previously my family was cut out of my life a long time ago And they surely were not a part of my children’s and going there was not an option….
      When I filed for an order of protection for my children and I even turn the power off on ice during a tropical storm and then his Uncle Illegally Evicted Us the very same day that he was served…
      And That is the short version….
      That’s the thing about domestic violence it doesn’t discriminate, It really can happen to anyone and if you knew my husband and I even 5 years ago you would understand that!
      So F YOU BUDDY!

      Sunday, 15 October 2017, 1:30 am
      • Lanie: you should not have to explain yourself to anyone. they have NOT walked in your shoes.

        Sunday, 15 October 2017, 3:13 pm
  • I now know why hernando county does not have commodities food for low income families & seniors. The money & power people are dawn centering!!! Inverness had shelters also but they also had commodity food ( rice, canned vegetables, fruit, powdered milk, etc. ) to assist low income families & seniors. Let’s take the money being wasted from this facility & get hernando government to bring in commodities to supplement low income families/seniors food budgets & stamps. Then maybe the children will have food in their bellies & moms won’t be forced to do illegal things to feed them.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 6:17 pm
  • stay safe, Tom! No one needs to end up like a “friend” of the Clintons who ends up committing suicide with 2 bullets to the back of the head….

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 4:23 pm
  • All you have to do is look at who’s on the board of directors and go yeah all right it all makes sense now it’s disgusting since when do politics have anything to do with a shelter I honestly find this to not be surprising given whose names are on that list but when is an are the good people of this County going to wake up and say that corruption starts within our local officials and trickles all the way down to John Q public

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 2:21 pm
  • Keep up the good work Tom. Sadly, I’m not surprised at anything Sheriff Nutjob does anymore. I think he would sell his soul to the devil just to make sure he didn’t get caught in the wrong.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 1:32 pm
  • Thank you for this article, Tom.
    A question, though. Are the sheriff and former sheriff named in these positions because the Sheriff’s Office is usually who is contacted by an abused person looking for help, or are these paid positions on these boards?

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 1:08 pm
  • No matter who is wrong or right. PLEASE someone just look into this situation. DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN. They dont need to see some of what May be going on there. Please.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 12:41 pm
  • Why do you think RNRF has such a hard time getting information from the Sheriff.
    Uncle Al would eat his own and has. Not to admit he was wrong about anything.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 12:29 pm
  • SORRY RORY CALHOUN! GET YA FRICKEN HEAD OUTTA DA SAND!! WOW WAKE UP! otherwise great stuff spot on Gregg! and many others! FDLE BABY!!

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 12:10 pm
  • l.o.l! sorry for typo! as was WRITTEN!………..this is just as sad as the mental health system as i have years of 1st hand knowledge being a legal guardian, who/ where in the hell is the regulation,inspection and oversight to these places?? NOT! there’s mental health facilities particularly pasco co. that have a big F on there health inspection board in bright orange and still open and ready to take your (state money whatever) and gladly give you a bed! fukin freakin disgusting! our lovely goverment at work………….which is everything they have hand on is a wreck! keep going tom! my blessings!

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 11:54 am
  • TOM! KEEP DROPPING THE HAMMER!!! also though i don’t know him personally i hate to think former sheriff Nugent would knowingly ever be involved or cover something like this……………hope i’m wrong, the rest i don’t know but this is another example of PORK, and lot’s of it! WOW! as was ywritten and true! for money is the root of…………………..all evil! keep pounding bro!

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 11:47 am
  • What about the children? How’re the children treated? Living in filth with drug addicts all around?! Why doesn’t dcf shut this place down?! Forget the money and the strippers WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN THERE?!

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 11:20 am
  • Just ask local law enforcement or fire dept, they have stories. Drug use and intoxication are common place here. Unfortunately, that is why a lot of the women ended up there. It is disgusting inside and the way they are living (the women themselves) is disgusting. Really needs rules and regulations for residents. A lot of these so called “shelters” are overrun with people who do not know basic life skills so you cannot expect them to be great.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 11:02 am
    • You are most definitely correct. Some strange things there.

      Friday, 26 May 2017, 7:10 pm
  • Sounds like they work for the “GOP” putting their hands on reporter’s for them doing their job, By bringing all the corruption to light. It’s getting worse and worse especially for reporters. Be safe and Thank you Tom for keeping us updated!

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 10:20 am
  • This is unacceptable. First any woman that’s in danger deserves a safe place to go. Yrs ago I was in an abusive relationship and called the dawn center and i was turned away due to not enough beds. Now come to find out there were not enough beds because this was going on. It’s horrible and unfair. The salaries alone should raise red flags. The ppl in charge of that place need to be investigated further. Our sheriff is the president???? I can’t understand how this has been going on so long. Tom please be safe looking into this kind of stuff can definitely become dangerous. Ppl like that dont want there gravy train to end and will not stop till you go away. They all deserve to be behind bar’s. Stealing tax payers money that’s givin to help families in need. Instead of helping they lined there pockets. Thanks for the information. It’s something we all needed to know.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 9:42 am
  • Im calling florida dept of law enf. Fdle and telling them what fraud is being done for govt funds….i would tell everyone else to do same thing…..u will see all the politicians on the board who wanted votes for this…running fast

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 9:27 am
  • Nothing surprises me when it comes to the sheriffs dept. We had quite a conversation about Hernando county being a sanctuary county, got the email from the same lawyer, denied that we were on the list of sanctuary cities until the sheriff asked me to provide him with the name of the National List I was referring to, after doing that the emails stopped. He knows we are a sanctuary county.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 9:24 am
  • This is what happens to a town with no newspapers. We the people have no idea of the kingdoms these politicians are building for themselves.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 9:09 am
  • Great job Tom…if anyone messes with u from hernando sheriff office or any need to call fdle,florida dept of law enforcement..make an official complaint on there complaint nothing verbally even for complaints,at sheriffs office…fdle is the cops above the cops and police anyone in govt positions!!!!you got balls,and thats what every county needs is a news agency like urs!!!

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 9:07 am
  • WOW, being a Survivor this pisses me off to no end… Yes, I went into the Dawn Center about 17 years ago… and left a few hours later….I didn’t feel comfortable then but they were a safe haven for a few hours. When a woman and her children flee, they are leaving everything behind to be safe. They do not need to go into unknown territory with problems like these. Some think that drug abusers need help also, then put them in a drug rehab. Miss Lollipops wants to dance while there then she stays down there not come and bring that lifestyle back to the children. I am appalled at the lack of supervision given by these board members. When you have these massive complaints coming to you from all angles… You don’t turn a blind eye, you get yourself in the middle and work until it’s fixed. I see a lot of people scrambling right about now… the sad thing is if they did their job right, stayed on top of things they wouldn’t be worrying about their next move. Thank you Tom for helping the Abused!!!

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 9:00 am
  • Here is what I would like to know, where do women go in this county who are being targeted by abusive partners? Who helps them? The dawn center is an atrocious place to be at if the women is being abused. When I first got here to this area I wanted to continue to volunteer at the help line as I had done in P’cola and was absolutely shocked by the lack of training and the words used by the trainers and employees of said center. Therefore I did not continue my way to volunteer. Back to my original question, where do the women go if they need help?

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 8:42 am
    • There is no other place in Hernando. aparently they can’t get the funding or all attempts are blocked by the many HIGH POWERED PEOPLE on the board of the dawn center. I think they should all be investigated and audited by IRS..

      Monday, 29 May 2017, 6:49 pm
  • This story is unsettling on more than one level. While the non-profit should definitely be more accountable and transparent regarding funds from the taxpayer, just the word count alone in this article points to conflict on a personal level. I almost always appreciate the reporting from Tom and RNRF, however I don’t think I will be able to view any future stories about the Dawn Center here and accept the journalism as being objective.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 8:36 am
      • You plainly state in your first sentence that the reader should “Consider the following report as a fact-based expose’ with a hint of subjective rhetoric”. With all due respect, my comment is not presented as judgment. You offer an admission of potential subjectivity, yet you feel judged by a comment that acknowledges this?

        Friday, 26 May 2017, 11:09 am
      • Keep up the good work. I had no idea about what has been going on there and the names of the people on the board.

        Friday, 26 May 2017, 1:12 pm
      • Tom, yes you have some readers who have had more than one big glass of Kool-Aid and are all in on this non-profit. Does not matter the size of payroll, the end result and what transpires along the journey just as long as it feels good and they claim to be helping battered women.
        I have followed you from Day 1 and you have never peddled Fake News.
        The crew who supports this ill run center will come again this time in full attack mode with any lie they can throw up on the wall against you.

        Friday, 26 May 2017, 4:18 pm
  • Tom, remember the young mom and 6 children that was forced out onto the streets in the rain and cold by another “shelter”? She also had a short stay at this shelter and will confirm all of this. It breaks my heart that Hernando County Brooksville has NO legit place for help for those truly seeking.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 7:12 am
  • Good work, now I know what sheriff I’m not voting for.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 2:47 am
  • This has been going on for years. Should see the place in Noddy Tern.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 12:28 am
    • Noddy Tern Street?

      Friday, 26 May 2017, 9:17 am
  • Ok so 1,035.136 total funding
    756,862.00 in salary. …add to that
    Electric. .phone……water..garbage..
    Taxes…office supplies…fund raising costs. .legal fees..accounting fees and so on…WHAT IS LEFT FOR THE WOMAN..sham. All the complaints ignored ? Why would HCSO ignore the complaints after all they bring out the chopper for a shoplifter…

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 12:16 am
  • Interesting……as always, follow the money. Shameful behavior by all those involved.

    Friday, 26 May 2017, 12:10 am
  • This is absolutely atrocious!!!!!!! First of all Tom…..once again I want to THANK YOU for speaking the TRUTH when others either shy away from it out of intimidation OR even worse….commit to silence for a quid pro quo fee whatever that may turn out to be! As a survivor of domestic violence from a nightmarish marriage of eleven years that ended only after he tried to shoot me in the head in front of our three children…..this infuriates me that people of any societal tier level would use domestic violence as a backdrop for nothing more than fattening their own pockets and sharpening their own images and condoning and allowing illegal and unsafe practices to continue to occur in a place that is supposed to be SAFE for women and children. Yes, domestic violence victims with drug habits need help too but they can receive just as much confidentiality and safety via the HIPPA laws in a medical regulated rehabilitation center as they can an anonymous battered women’s shelter and that’s where they should be sent. And as for the corruption and fraud that is alleged I am
    Going to send you an email Tom with some info of someone who I think maybe can be of great help to you in overcoming those roadblocks and bypassing some of the walls that are being put up in front of you. I truly
    Pray that this situation is dealt with because there is such a great need for domestic violence shelters unfortunately and the women who truly need them Di not need a place like this who will Only further victimize them. Keep up the good work Tom!!!!!

    Thursday, 25 May 2017, 11:44 pm
  • Figures the sheriff is president..corrupt..over looks all these crimes..but nails J the money trail

    Thursday, 25 May 2017, 11:38 pm
  • wow, had no idea. excellent reporting

    Thursday, 25 May 2017, 11:33 pm
  • Non profit? Wow. I have known women who have saught shelter here, and have heard horrible stories like what you have reported. I did not realize who all was behind this NON PROFIT. I actually have known a few of these people in a work situation. I did not realize That the Sheriff was the President. And also Congressman Nugent were associated with this center. I cannot believe the salaries. Just wow. Sounds like a lot of fraud going on, let alone the things they are letting go on there. I have no idea where this place is, and I realize it is suppose to be secret for obvious reasons. One woman I knew that went there to get away from her abbusive and very violent boyfriend, found the place and took her out of there. How does that happen? Luckily she has since got away to another state before he killed her. And all the money they get and they don’t even make sure there is food there to feed them 3 meals a day???? I guess it starts at the top, but being who the top is, I doubt things will ever get better there. Thank you for bringing this to light. I think it is shameful, just the fraud that is going on let alone any of the other stuff. Just like Medicare and medicaid fraud happens, this is disgusting. I can’t believe the people I know would even have anything to do with a place like this, but money talks! They all need to look in the mirror and see that this is not really helping these women with drug problems or alcohol problems. They need help, the money they are getting, there should be no problem to make sure they are getting help. And not just a bed and a dirty nasty place to stay for awhile. They are playing on people’s hearts to help these women and children to get donations. Something needs to be done, and these women should actually be getting help. Thank you for getting this story out. I know you’re taking a lot of flack, but that tells me a lot. They are definitely not wanting the truth out. They all need to get a real job and let someone with compassion take over and get this place straightened out.

    Thursday, 25 May 2017, 11:23 pm
  • You state that a woman asked for a ride to Lollipops and that meant she was going to work as a prostitute for the day. My first assumption would have been she was going to dance/strip. Where did you get your facts that back up your statement that she was prostituting ? Also, though I find it sad, it stands to reason that the lower social-economic bracket would have people of ill-repute needing services just like every other bracket. Physical violence at the hands of men happens to all women, including prostitutes and drug users. Do they not deserved to be helped ? It seems to me that both you and the Dawn Center are attacking each other in childish ways. It will be the women who need the safety of a shelter who will pay for it eventually.

    Thursday, 25 May 2017, 11:16 pm
    • Good Morning Lisa,

      I must have read a different article then you, or it has been since updated. I could not find where it said that the girl that asked for a ride to Lollipops was a prostitute. I could be wrong and it could have been corrected by the time I read it though.

      I also did not see where Tom has stated that prostitutes and drug users do not deserve to be helped. Can you please point that out in the article to me as well? Prostitutes and drug dealers deserve the same amount of help as the next but that does not give them the right to receive the help and continue the path to death. If you ended up at the center, then that means something bad probably has happened to you for you to be there in the first place. This should be an eye opener for those “prostitutes and drug users” to star to get their life straightened out and realize they won’t make it far in life if they continue this way. By all means please get the help that is deserved but don’t make others that are sober and not selling their bodies feel the wrath that you are too ignorant to see for yourself.

      Once again I read the article almost 10 hours after it was posted so it could have been edited after you made your comment, but for the time being I do not see any supporting facts that back up or reflect your comments. Hope you are having an extremely nice day Lisa.

      Friday, 26 May 2017, 7:17 am
    • Well, let’s see… you go to a place where you take off your clothes and get paid money to show your “whatever” and you dont think thats suffice? Trash is to say sounds like it to me!!

      Friday, 26 May 2017, 9:15 am
    • DENIAL 096!
      This “non-profit” certainly has a nice payroll with some impressive salaries.
      The boards who run these so called non-profits and I could think of a bigger one in the country that NEVER stops begging for money and meals from businesses to individuals needs to be held accountable. They continue their media blitz telling us in the community, at church and at our businesses how much good they are doing. We hear it so much it becomes ingrained and believable and the money continues to flow in with it appears no accountability for the facility or end-results.
      This is a story with facts that we will see no where else.
      THANKS for having the courage to bring this non-profit MESS to our attention.

      Friday, 26 May 2017, 9:32 am
      • The only impressive salary is the CEO. The next highest paid employee is $40-$60k less. The pay scale for the staff falls below the poverty level for some. No benefits for the staff either.

        Saturday, 27 May 2017, 7:55 am
        • BELOW POVERTY LEVEL. What world do you live in. poverty level is 1200.00 a month the give to people on disability and Social security who worked for 40 years. You need to wake up. this place is a scam.

          Monday, 29 May 2017, 6:44 pm

      Monday, 29 May 2017, 6:40 pm
  • Thank you Tom. Took alot of courage to post that story. What a shock! I can’t believe it, but I can, if that makes any sense. Stay safe sir.

    Thursday, 25 May 2017, 10:55 pm
    • Wow Tom, maybe u shouldn’t drink before u write. U got a little carried away . They r scum sucking leaches, some of us already know this. Then they suck off us. U better watch ur back, cops R killers. They’ll do anything to keep from being ” one of the dirtys” like GLADFELTER, who stole the police berievment fund & murdered a kid. What a low life SCUMBAG that piece of sh?t is!!

      Friday, 26 May 2017, 10:22 pm

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