The Shelter fires two employees and puts executive director on leave

The Shelter
Posted at 2:10 PM, Feb 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-14 06:15:27-04

Tallahassee, Fl. (WTXL)—The Shelter in Tallahassee has fired two employees and placed executive director Mel Eby on administrative leave following allegations of abuse against the homeless shelter.

On Feb. 22, Jacob Reiter was named interim director. According to board member David Maloney, Reiter immediately appointed Sammy Towels as manager of staff and Robert “Skip” Smith as facilities manager. He then met with homeless residents staying at The Shelter.

“He let them know what was going on and reassured them that we would continue to provide services to whoever shows up in need,” Maloney said.

On Feb. 23 Reiter, six board members and Towels assured staff members they are looking into better ways of organizing staff and taking care of any problems.

“We need them to keep going,” said Maloney. “We wanted to make sure they’re all willing to stay on board.”

Maloney said that the response they received from staff members was positive and that none have plans of leaving their jobs at The Shelter.

These actions are all occurring after Renee miller, who is the director of the City Walk Urban Mission, went undercover as a homeless woman at The Shelter. She reportedly posted a blog on Feb. 13 that said the organization is housing the homeless in poor conditions. She also alleges one of the employees asked her for sex.

On January 13, Eby was named Person of the Year by the Tallahassee Democrat for his work with the homeless.

According to The Shelter’s website, Providing a haven for people who find themselves in the situation of needing some form of assistance without fear of intimidation is part of The Shelter mission.”

The Shelter is continuing their own investigation into the conditions and the Tallahassee Police Department is conducting an investigation as well. TPD told board members they expect to be finished with the investigation by Friday March 1, but that could change depending on how many interviews and follow ups they feel are necessary.