'Extreme Makeover' home donations under investigation
Posted February 28, 2012
Updated March 8, 2012
Fayetteville, N.C. — The state is reviewing whether a Fayetteville home transformed by "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" last year into a place to house homeless female veterans has collected more than $25,000 donations without a license.
The North Carolina Secretary of State's Office said Tuesday that Barbara Marshall, who runs the Jubilee House on Langdon Street, has filed paperwork as a nonprofit but does not have a license for donations exceeding $25,000.
"A lot of that is new to me," Marshall said. "I'm not making excuses, but sometimes you have to get smart in a hurry."
This is the latest issue for the house, which has come under scrutiny from homeless advocates, including the Salvation Army, for turning women away.
Marshall, a 15-year Navy veteran, said she has two women and a child staying at the home, despite the fact the home can shelter up to seven women.
Marshall has said she turned women away because some of them require clinical services for treatment like substance abuse that she cannot provide.
"If we had my way, we'd have a good, solid staff that would provide residential treatment for women who are suicidal, but right now that's not the case," Marshall said.
Brandy Thompson, who was discharged from the Army in 2006, said she suffers from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. She said she thought she had a bed at the Jubilee House in October but that Marshall told her she had to see mental health specialists at the hospital before she could stay at Jubilee House.
After five days in the hospital waiting, Thompson said, Marshall denied her request to move in.
"You have the resources to help me, to get things done that I need to get done," Thompson said. "My hopes were high for that. That was a big letdown."
Marshall said she is getting no money from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the government. She said that, once she gets more help and resources, she hopefully can care for homeless veterans with drug, alcohol or mental health issues.
Before the renovations to the Jubilee House, she said, she casually welcomed any women veteran in need.
"I think what has happened is what happens in any relationship. The honeymoon is over, and we've got to get smart," Marshall said.
Although the show aired last year, people still show up delivering donations to the home.
Marshall said she stores donations in her basement and offers them to female veterans who come to the shelter, even if they aren't able to stay there.
If the state finds that Marshall did collect the donations without a license, she could face fines or administrative penalties.
On Tuesday afternoon, an informal advisory committee met to discuss the claims of women being turned away or kicked out of the home. The committee has no authority over the house.
"All of my concerns were addressed," board member Rebekah Sanderlin said after the meeting. "I don't think there is anything shady going on."
Board members decided to create an executive board in the coming weeks to ensure accountability.