Community calls for changes in John Hope leadership

Dozens of concerned community members voiced their anger in a meeting Monday night on the future of John Hope Settlement House in Providence. The agency is facing serious financial problems.

The new leader of the organization and community members say the problems stem from mismanagement in recent years.

NBC 10 first reported in January, 2012 that John Hope Settlement House might have to close. The agency that provides community services, like children's programs, has been able to get some assistance to stay afloat. But leaders say the future is uncertain beyond a few months from now. The agency is losing $30,000 a month.

While the executive director and some board positions have changed in the last year, many community members want the entire board to be replaced. "We want this board to go. We want this entire board to go and it be replaced with people who are more competent," Mal Evans told NBC10.

"Take people from the community that can help them get back on feet, not some outsiders that don't know nothing about John Hope," added Leslie Turner. She spent her younger years coming to John Hope.

"My mother and father were married in the old gym over there. I lived next door. So I came to John Hope everyday after schooland I'm sad because they let outsiders come in and destroy something that shouldn't be going the way it is," Turner said.

The new plan from the new leader of John Hope is to re-structure and start fresh. Nina Pande told NBC 10, "We're basically trying to walk through the steps of what you would do in receivership without actually going to the courts."