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Officials with The Kitchen Inc. say no one was displaced from housing as a result of the misconduct.
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Officials with The Kitchen Inc. say no one was displaced from housing as a result of the misconduct.

The Kitchen: Employees at fault for grant noncompliance

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Officials with The Kitchen Inc. say two employees and a vendor were at fault for the organization failing to meet the standards of a state grant.

The Missouri Housing Development Commission in March conducted an audit of a $35,000 grant awarded to The Kitchen in 2017. The audit found proper procedures were not followed in late February and early March, resulting in $17,830 being recollected by the MHDC, according to a news release.

Officials say “appropriate steps were taken and a corrective action plan was in place by April 15,” though the decisions made by The Kitchen were not included in the release. The misconduct also was not detailed, and the nonprofit’s community development coordinator, Stefanie Nentrup, could not be reached for comment by deadline. A MHDC official also could not be reached immediately this morning.

“As an accredited organization, The Kitchen Inc. holds its staff and programs to the highest standards and expects all to adhere to our core values of respect, dignity, quality, service and compassion,” the release reads. “The staff of The Kitchen Inc. cooperated fully with MHDC and the city of Springfield to ensure our policies and procedures are compliant and meet the standards of MHDC.

“We are fortunate the problems were quickly identified and immediately resolved.”

The Kitchen is now compliant with MHDC policies and regulations, according to the release. While the MHDC recollected funds, officials with The Kitchen say housing was still provided to the homeless and that no one was displaced.

The Kitchen provides housing and other services, such as case management, for the homeless in Springfield. It ranked No. 16 on Springfield Business Journal’s 2019 list of the area’s largest charitable nonprofits, with 39 employees. The organization also reported an annual operating budget of $3.6 million.

The Springfield News-Leader was first to report on the MHDC audit.

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