In Detroit, which borders on bankruptcy and which is closing public schools because it cannot afford them, the city provided $148,000 to fund a clothing store. The store was to provide funding to help poor people get business suits for job interviews. “Clothes make the man.” We all know that.
How many people actually received new clothes? Two. Over how long a period? Two years. That is $74,000 per suit.
There is some suspicion by the city council that there was mismanagement going on here. You can’t fool these people. Not for long, anyway. Two years? Yes.
The city is running an audit.
“It’s just another example that money is not as much of an issue than managing the money, whether it’s grant or general fund dollars that we have,” said Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown. “We have to find a better way to manage the resources and give Detroiters the value for the tax dollars they deserve.”
Yes, sireee, Bob. And the city is going to do just that. One of these days, Real Soon Now.
The audit is the latest finding against the city’s Department of Human Services, which has been under scrutiny for chronic mismanagement of federal funds. Many of the department’s leaders have departed since an internal investigation was launched last year, including an inquiry into the purchase of $182,000 worth of high-end furniture for a department office. In 2009, the department received more than $11 million in stimulus funding and created a service center.
Back to the free clothing store. To get a suit, the applicant had to prove that he had a job interview scheduled.
“The DHS was only able to provide the auditors with two referral forms signed by two clients documenting that they received clothing from the boutique,” the audit said. “Eligible Detroiters are not being served with available clothing being stocked in the boutique.”
The department did not give a reason for not reaching the goal of providing 400 people with clothes.
The audit found the Department of Human Services hired a contractor to run the boutique. The contractor negotiated the purchase of clothing without involving city officials and did not give them keys to the center.
The contractor also did not provide proof of the receipt of the clothing to auditors.
This is the way things work in Motor City, USA.
This is the welfare state in action.
Federal money helped fund this. This is not going to stop until Washington’s checks bounce.