Head of foster care agency accused of misusing millions of dolla - KPTV - FOX 12

Head of foster care agency accused of misusing millions of dollars

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Building where Give Us This Day was located. Building where Give Us This Day was located.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Officials said the head of a local foster care agency misused millions of dollars while needy children went without. Now, the organization has been shut down.

The agency called Give Us This Day has been caring for foster kids in group homes and placing them with foster families in the Portland area for years.

Organizers relied on state funding, but investigators said the money was mishandled and one former employee told FOX 12 she can back that up.

"We had to go on our own to food banks and churches and places that donated food to pick that up on our own time. When we weren't getting paid. Just to make sure the kids had food to eat, or we'd bring our own lunches and they'd beg us for our own lunches. So it was difficult," said Rachel Rosas.

Rosas used to work for Give Us This Day, caring for foster kids in group homes. She said not only were the living conditions sub-par, with very little money for groceries, linens and clothes, but she said her paychecks were late on a regular basis.

When she asked managers about it, they told her the state wasn't giving them their funding.

Mary Holden ran the agency and had several foster parents working for her. Several of them have also complained to FOX 12 that they didn't get paid on time and are still owed money.

Court documents show thousands of dollars were spent on travel, dining out, Las Vegas Casinos and clothing at Victoria's Secret and Louis Vuitton.

Rosas testified before a senate committee about the agency and how money was appropriated. 

Just this week, the State Department of Justice signed a settlement agreement with Mary Holden, saying she will dissolve the agency, her insurance company will give $500,000 back to the state and she is not allowed to work for a non-profit for 7 years.

Rosas feels that a lot of neglected children are finally getting a voice.

"The foster kids will contact me. They've aged out of the program or they're homeless or they've been in jail and they just feel like, what did they do wrong? Or why didn't they get a chance? And it's just showing them that it wasn't their fault. Somewhere the system failed them," said Rosas.

FOX 12 was not able to locate Mary Holden to get her side of the story.

FOX 12 asked state officials if she could face criminal charges and they said they can't comment on that at this time.

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