Phenix City homeless shelter investigation ends

The executive director of the House of Restoration was brought to the center of an investigation into the budget for the homeless shelter in Phenix City in December of last year.

Pastor Johnnie Robinson was accused of misappropriating funds and putting tens of thousands of dollars in his pocket.

"We were almost crippled when things about us came in to question," said Robinson on Monday.

Board Member, Father Tom Weise, said it was a disgruntled employee that brought up the allegations and "inappropriately took records and used them against us.  And, there were people who were anxious and willing to take a look at that."

Robinson admits there was a setback in the trust and confidence of the organization. 

Recently, the grand jury found no fault of the House of Restoration and Johnnie Robinson said they threw out the case against him.  He said they are now working to restore their image and find funding to make up for their losses.

Residents of the homeless shelter did not seem to notice their home was at the center of a controversy. 

Charlie Harper has lived at the House of Restoration since February and said he did not know about the issue.  "I am a current proud resident of House of Restoration," he told WTVM with pride.

The executive director said the investigation, which is now over, will affect the funds next fiscal year.  Because of the investigation, the organization was not able to apply for United Way funding for 20-13, meaning they will lose nearly $100,000.

"$80,000 of food would fill up this whole field and feed folks for about 7 months," said Robinson. 

Robinson will be announcing his candidacy for Phenix City mayor Tuesday, he admitted he wanted this issue resolved before making it official.

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