COPY OF LETTER SENT TO ME BY ABT SUBCONTRACTED BY HUD FOR SURVEY OF PEOPLE IN HUD HOUSING – DATED MARCH 1, 2018
I did not receive this letter held by Cornerstone Montgomery for a month, did not receive it until April 30, 2018. I had made a complaint about Cornerstone to HUD about 2 months ago and thought this was in response to my strong complaint about Cornerstone Montgomery formerly, St. Luke’s House and then merged with Threshold Services.
Unfortunately, I asked a staff member at Cornerstone’s Norbeck/Adrienne House where I was forced to move because Pam Gueron wanted the HUD ranch house at 12902 Valleywood Drive, to herself and had a friend Chris who can be seen talking on a video at Rainbow House shelter, Pam Gueron also stayed there and can be seen at the end of the video. Pam Gueron spent almost a year abusing me and refusing to let me use the kitchen or laundry, Chris often stayed overnight in Pam’s room and was essentially living there. After Cornerstone refused to take action, I wrote to Senator Van Hollen who has helped me in the past,
I have several years of complaints averaging one every 2 years after abuse from Bel Pre supervisor and other staff and bullying from one roommate and often very somatically ill other roommate that I would try to obtain help such as Betty Levy with 7 or 8 months of very swollen legs and swollen eye that she was told to call 911 by staff who often were verbally abusive to her. The ambulance would take her to a local hospital who would send her home with very little treatment, I finally called Dept of Aging who did not want to get involved in helping senior citizen because did not want to take on Cornerstone Montgomery Agency, but did not let Keith Ellis know that and he finally contacted the nurse at Cornerstone and her RC stayed with Betty until Holy Cross admitted her and Betty Levy was several months after HC stay in a rehab center.
Terrible suffering for Betty, Janet Listou also went to Montgomery Generals and Holy Cross finally admitted her several times -so many clients not getting help from the nursing subcontractors, would not even let me know how to contact them after I signed paperwork for these nurses to get paid through Cornerstone, I could not concentrate on my freelance art with Voc Rehab DORS that is too afraid to ask Cornerstone why DORS clients cannot have a safe place to live without bullying and mockery from supervisor Keith Ellis or other housemates.
Other housemates who have stayed a short time have reported Keith Ellis behavior to their therapists and psychiatrists as I have but the head of Residences Nicole Burke-Tumi somehow trumps the deep concerns of social workers and doctors that their work not be undone by Mr. Ellis who came from Threshold and has been the worst thing that has happened to me and other clients in a life that had already been filled with abuse and trying to do my artwork to do something positive with my life.
Last week, about 2 days after found this letter in my room, I told the staffer at Norbeck House about the survey and asked why it took a month from the postmark date to get to me and she told Julianne Tortellino who came in my room a few hours later, she asked to see the envelope which was addressed to me at Second Step, 1398 Lamberton Drive Apt Val-C Silver Spring 20902. Second Step was a Cornerstone program, my therapist said Second Step no longer existed and crossed it off the list she had printed for me several months ago when I was looking for Cornerstone housing away from Keith Ellis and Pam Gueron a client who they treat like staff and who they have told private information about me to – I include my purported Rehab Counselor who met with me a handful of times in a year and a half period that she, Nicole Briscoe, was getting paid to meet with me weekly. Medicaid recently forced Cornerstone to give back money to the State and fire two RCs who falsified information about meeting with clients and charging for these bogus meetings.
The day I received the letter since it gave only two weeks to respond I called twice, once after I noticed the date of the letter and said I was very eager to participate in the survey but worried because more than 2 weeks had passed since date and postmark.
A few hour after Julianne Tortellino asked to see the envelope a polite but nervous man from ABT called to ask if I could meet with him that afternoon, I said it would be fine or tomorrow, whenever you want.
He said they would only be in this area that day and I said the afternoon would be fine. He made an appointment time, then he asked if I was still in HUD housing and I said no but had spent 8 years in 3 HUD houses and he said he could not meet with me for that reason. My therapist told me Second Step no longer exists when looking for other housing a few months ago. I expressed my disappointment, said I had made a complaint to HUD and asked which dept at HUD had contracted ABT and he said The Office of Policy Development, Evaluations and Research.
The HUD houses managed by Cornerstone Montgomery are many more than those that were managed by just a relatively small inhouse agency that was called Second Step which was for clients moving out of psychiatric residences many of which are HUD houses.
About 2 years ago Cornerstone fired THE ENTIRE MAINTENANCE STAFF and this affected many HUD houses, since then it is very difficult even when a the HUD house on 12902 Valleywood to get the less experienced smaller maintenance to come out for any reason even when the dishwasher overflowed onto the wood floor at Valleywood steaming because then housemate, daughter of a plumber, complained the water was way too hot and was ignored for months then the dishwasher wouldn’t turn off, the floor was steaming and the metal sink was too hot to touch.
We called 311 who did not work on holidays and neither did the maintenance. I called the fire department the older experienced fireman touched the pipe and burned himself when trying to turn off the water, 3 firemen had to take a while to break some of the floorboards to get the dishwasher out to stop it and there was so much steaming hot water all over the wood floor kitchen that the older fireman said, you will have to tear it all out so there will not be mold. We told Keith and I told Nicole Burke-Tumi in front of the then COO and all Ms. Burke said was she was aware that it had happened. Maintenance only replaced the areas the firemen tore out and most of the wood floor in this HUD house was left for the mold. Jeanne said that if I had not called the fire dept the whole house would have been flooded. The office at Bel Pre at first said they called maintenance then said not to worry about it.
About one week ago, I was told by staffer Natavia at Norbeck House not to open windows since there are few screens and hornets were coming in and that maintenance would have to measure windows and it would be a long process. She also said there was no central air conditioning and we would have to make do with the 2 SPACE air conditioners which barely work. It was a hot box at Norbeck last week and NYT wrote of people dying in mismanaged group homes without air conditioning. I contacted BHA and Board of Licensure and maintenance went to work fixing the air conditioning but had to stop so don’t know if the mostly elderly clients here will be safe this summer or if LBHA will do any follow-up. I am sure I will suffer further retribution for trying to save my own life and that of others by also letting people on social media know about this latest inhumanity from Cornerstone Montgomery Mental Health Agency. They keep changing their name because of their bad reputation.
It is very daunting to complain to HUD about your housing and after Beth Vonieff took the manila envelop off the bulletin board at Banquo Drive several years ago, I repeated asked Keith to post the information required by law and in CSA inspections they never noticed it was gone, the former Threshold house that 30 people at Cornerstone had to suddenly move to in a strange shuffling act is how I ended up at the 3rd HUD house of Valleywood which never had any HUD information though required by law and I asked several times to Keith Ellis who ignored me.
Much of this information and more is on my LydiaGorbik Blogspot which consists of copies of letters I have sent over the years to Congressman Van Hollen and Congressman Murphy because the late Senator Kennedy left him in charge of Boston Advocacy Group.
When I finally made a complaint to HUD 2 months ago, I am very disappointed that I have not heard back from HUD and thought that the ABT survey was the response but after making a tentative appt. the representative from ABT suddenly backed off and suddenly asked if I was still in HUD housing.
I pray that HUD will investigate the massive fraud, mismanagement and abuse and would be glad to meet with anyone at any time to discuss my horrible experiences here. I believe I could have started selling my artwork instead of being beaten down every day and I think that there are others who have complained to CSA, BHA and Congresspersons on behalf of themselves and other clients too sick and unable to articulate the mockery, abuse and neglect they suffer.
The Compliance Officer, Marissa Gillum, refused to help me last September and about 3 years ago AFTER I contacted then-Congressman Van Hollen, Ms. Gillum met with me with Keith Ellis and Nicole Burke-Tumi and my therapist but nothing changed even though I repeatedly told of Mr.Ellis bullying me and other clients who have complained to therapists and psychiatrists other than mine to no avail. Ms. Gillum refused to post the phone number for the Compliance Officer and Lighthouse, a subcontractor very skilled in taking complaints took a half hour with me 2 years ago but they have no authority in what is to be done and CSA should be skilled as this in taking complaints – in lobbies where other clients can see and get relief from the abuse and mismanagement.
March 1, 2018
Dear Linda L….,
I am writing to ask for your help with a voluntary reresearch study. I am part of a team at ABT Associates. We are working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to conduct a survey for people in some of HUD’s housing programs, like Second Step. We will use this survey to learn how you feel about your housing, your neighborhood, your daily life and the services you may receive here.
If you might be interested or have questions, please call Abt’s study team toll free at 888-520-7078 in the next two weeks.
If you agree to participate in this study, we will schedule a time to come to your home or to meet in another place that is convenient for you.
We will ask you the survey questions and write down your answers. We will not report your name to HUD or the public. It will take about 30-45 minutes to complete the survey. We can find a time tat fits with your schedule. If you do agree to take part, we will give you a gift card for $40 to thank you for your time. If you choose not to take part, it will not affect any benefits or services you receive, now or in the future. If you have a legally-authorized representative, we would like to speak with your representative about your participation in this study.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Caroline Logan and Louise Rothschild
Although the other group home managed by Julianne Tortellino, Chadwick House, was so badly burned around Christmas time 2017, the Fire Department still will not allow residents to return who are housed in a hotel.
An apartment complex managed by Cornerstone in Germantown Maryland, don’t know if it was HUD housing, had a fire started by one of the residents and about 10 residents had to double up with other Cornerstone Houses about 4 years ago, the Maryland Fire Dept in Germantown would have records of that and the Silver Spring Fire Department should have records of the December 2017 badly burned Chadwick house and also several years ago, the office of Bel Pre Cluster I think it was called Peppertree Cluster at the time burned so badly at the apartment complex now called Chrystal Springs they had to move to Bel Pre apartments.
In the three HUD houses that I lived in in Silver Spring, Dunsinane Rd, Banquo Terrace, and 22902 Valleywood Drive had many near misses because client/patients had never been trained in safety in the kitchen with the stove, oven and the dishwasher. If not loaded right, plastic spoons large and small slip down onto the hot grill at the bottom of the dishwasher, Gerda had left the house leaving the dishwasher on, she often before and after this happened would throw the silverware in sideways instead of placing them in the holder, once I came upstairs and it smelled like a fire or diesal fuel, when I opened the dishwasher a spoon with a plastic handle had almost all of the plastic melted on the grill with just the cup of the spoon and the metal tab left but the staff that came twice a day would not talk to Gerda about being careful and she still would throw the silverware in sideways though I showed her and staff the melted spoon.
Burners were often left on, by Gerda and Beth Voneff left the house to catch a bus with the oven on low and something in foil defrosting, I turned it off and was talking to a friend Bonnie, when Beth came back from the busstop saying she had forgotten to turn off the oven. Bonnie kept repeating in the car, “She went to the bus stop and left the oven on !!”
I’ve asked staffers over the years including at Norbeck House, if they could do a meeting on kitchen safety or maybe get a video from the Fire Dept and they looked at me in horror because they did not want to ask their supervisors. In the 5 pages of complaints by former and current employees of Cornerstone Montgomery on the site glassdoors and the 2 pages on the Indeed site, it is often mentioned the contempt with which any suggestions including ways of helping clients is received and even retribution for daring to make suggestions to adminstrative staff.
I have never been on anti-psychotics though many of the people here constantly talk to imaginary people and I have only 5 feet of space in the subdivided room with Esther who has a powerful voice and often screams at imaginary people. How can I do my art in 5 feet of living space. Ken Westin of Core Service Agency did not speak with me about this forced move ostensibly because the only time I had been in the hospital last September because my purported RC Nicole Briscoe would not obtain my SSDI tax forms which accounting will only give to RC for SIX MONTHS. When I went in hospital had $100 food stamps but Nicole Briscoe strung me along for Six Months so that I could not be recertified for Call n Ride, I had been doing my own grocery shopping but taking a bus in the heat and even the limited amount of food I could lug home two long blocks made me very ill. I nearly died in Holy Cross Hospital mostly due to lack of food and Nicole Briscoe would blow me off when I called her several days before calling 911 about how ill I was from lack of food and vomiting. Nicole did not visit me in hospital and even when I got out of hospital had no way of getting food until I complained loudly and repeatedly to the Compliance Officer and after 2 weeks at home with Pam Gueron straddling my oxygen tube so I could not get back to my room from bathroom and many other harrassments, Ken Westin of CSA, without speaking to me, condemned me to this house meant for those who need 24/7 care.
I am not longer on oxygen and told Keith Ellis the hospital said it was precautionary and would be only for a short time as it was but in retribution for past complaints against Keith Ellis, Cornerstone and CSA was sent to Norbeck Adrienne House after my PCP Dr. Uma Polem refused intense pressure from the Cornerstone nurse to put me in a nursing home which Dr. Polem said I did not need and she was angry at the pressure put on her.
At that time I was in a HUD house, please investigate the gross mismanagement of HUD properties by Cornerstone Montgomery not just the relatively small section formerly known as Second Step.