Don’t give up, ex-Helping House staff Will Davis tells community

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  • The former executive director of the Multicultural Helping House Society has encouraged the Filipino community to “support solutions” for the immigrant-serving organization.

    Will Davis made the appeal in a rally on August 23 outside the MHHS or Helping House offices on Fraser Street in Vancouver.

    The rally was organized by concerned quarters to call for reforms at Helping House amid controversies surrounding the organization.

    Davis resigned as executive director on the eve of the August 23 demonstration, claiming that his efforts to make Helping House more transparent do not have the support of the board of directors.

    “Don’t give up,” Davis told members of the Filipino community at the street rally, while inside, the MHHS held its annual general meeting.

    At the meeting, the appointment of three new members to the Helping House board was questioned.

    The three, who are Agnes Umali, Nathan Gonzalez, and Ramon Garcia, were appointed to the board following the resignations of now former president and CEO Tomas ‘Tatay Tom’ Avendano, his son Benedicto or Benny, and Tomas’ brother Demetrio or Demi.

    The three new board members were not elected by members of the organization.

    There are questions about their qualifications to be designated to the board.

    Meanwhile at the rally outside, Davis commended Filipino community members who are demanding changes at Helping House.

    “MHHS must an organization for the entire community,” Davis said.

    Davis also touched on the issue regarding caregivers who were allegedly sold expensive insurance policies after they sought the help of Helping House.

    The insurance policies were reportedly sold by Norilyn Delos Reyes, a close associate of Tomas Avendano.

    “We need to come together and support caregivers,” Davis said.

    On August 22, Davis circulated a note regarding his resignation from the Helping House as its executive director.

    ““I have discovered evidence that makes it clear that my attempts to bring transparency to the affairs of the MHHS (something that should be welcomed by any organisation that received public funding) are now going to be resisted on all fronts and will lead to the termination of our Service Contract no matter what I do,” Davis stated in the note.

    According to Davis, this left him with no choice.

    “As a result, I have decided to take the only road now open to me which is to terminate the contact myself,” Davis stated in the note.

    Tomas Avendano has not stepped down from the MHHS Charitable Foundation, which controls the property and assets of Helping House.

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