Phoenix’s Sojourner Center is one of the largest domestic violence shelters in the United States, and it is branded as “a safe haven from domestic violence in Arizona.” However, multiple former employees of the Center revealed to The Gateway Pundit that constant rule violations and mismanagement of the shelter left women and children vulnerable to abuse.
“We were directly facilitating them literally abusing their children,” said one former employee (source #1) of the tax-exempt nonprofit organization, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Democratic Arizona Gubernatorial Nominee Katie Hobbs began her career with the Sojourner Center and is still closely tied with the organization. One would think that she has intimate knowledge of what is going on here.
The Gateway Pundit anonymously spoke to three former employees of the Sojourner Center who can confirm that the shelter was unscrupulously mismanaged, further endangering the vulnerable women and children housed at the facility.
We also obtained a copy of one former employee’s exit letter, which outlines their issues with the shelter’s management and unfair treatment of staff. The source alleges that higher-ups villainized staff members and always sided with the program participants when a dispute arose. This made it easy for participants to target staff members and get them reprimanded.
While serving as victim advocates with the Sojourner Center, former employees witnessed child abuse, drug/alcohol abuse, prostitution, men being allowed to live in a “shelter” with women, and “disgusting” living conditions. In their roles, our sources were responsible for victim intake, watching security footage, conducting room checks, and assisting participants and their children.
Source #1 worked at the shelter for over two months before resigning from their position in late 2021 and telling The Gateway Pundit that this job was subjecting them to “corruption and sadness.”
“They let these women live in absolute filth, and they had no standards for how the women kept their rooms, especially when there were children in them. They would have literal maggots crawling all over the food and kids playing around it. The rooms were disgusting and pretty morbid,” said Source #1. They continued, “they would have moms, and we had actual evidence of them beating their kids on audio. We would have several witnesses saying, ‘hey, this woman, I can hear her through the wall hitting her kids. The kids are in distress.'”
Other participants in the program allegedly recorded these audio tapes on their phones and reported them to the front desk at the Sojourner Center. “We listened to the audio of it happening. Participants would come to the front desk and play the audio for us, and we could clearly hear it,” said the source.
Source #1 said that their supervisors claimed they could do nothing about the child abuse and that the child was better off with their mother than in the custody of Child Protective Services. The supervisors in charge allegedly “did not document a lot of stuff because they didn’t want to show the higher-ups.”
Another source, who worked at the shelter for roughly one year starting in 2020 (Source #2), said, “I personally did make a lot of calls to CPS. However, that usually didn’t go anywhere.” They continued, “Even if we did make a report, if the family wasn’t on site or they didn’t want to talk to CPS, we couldn’t let them in. We still had to respect the privacy and the rights of clients.”
The Sojourner Center opened in 1977 to serve as “a safe haven from domestic violence for women and their children in Arizona.” It now serves “youth, men, and women effected by domestic violence,” according to its website. Men are allowed in the Sojourner Center if they qualify as victims of domestic violence. However, it does not appear that the facility is following protocols to keep vulnerable women or children safe.
Source #1 told The Gateway Pundit that three males also lived at the center when they worked there. One of the men claimed to be transgender, “but he obviously was not transgender at all… he literally had a beard.” They continued, “one of them was just a homeless man. He was literally just there because he needed somewhere to sleep and live for three months.”
“Apparently, he was in a domestic violence situation. And at this point, he was just homeless and needed somewhere to stay. The shelter had a room available, and they opened it up for him,” they said. Source #1 added, “He eventually started relationships with several of these women who were fleeing violence in their homes. They were becoming romantically involved with this man who was at this women’s shelter.”
Another man allegedly lived in the center with his two children. Source #1 said, “he was a violent perpetrator himself” and “he was actively beating his kids while they were staying at the shelter.” They also claim that he was “selling drugs and providing them to other moms,” “sleeping around with several of them,” and “hitting his kids in front of us” until he was eventually “kicked out” of the shelter. “He slapped his daughter in front of us, and nobody did anything except talk to him,” they said.
They continued, “He got kicked out because he was actively getting drunk in public spaces, falling asleep, leaving his kids around, and he was not trying to get a job.” Participants in the program must actively search for a job while staying at the shelter.
He was allegedly still allowed to take the children with him upon being kicked out of the facility.
According to our sources, the men in the Sojourner Center were sexually involved with multiple women. “The shelter was actively assisting these men preying on women in vulnerable situations in a women’s shelter,” Source #1 stated. “They would come to the front desk and ask for condoms, and legally, we were required to provide them to either the male or the female.”
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Source #2 agreed that condoms were provided after the shelter integrated this new policy in 2021. They also told us there was “no limit” on the sexual activity at the shelter, and they were worried about the safety of the children in the rooms during intercourse. “The sexual freedom that they were being allowed was really aggravating to me because that’s a huge safety thing,” they said.
Source #2 said that the men in the shelter were “vulgar and allowed to be.” They explained that one male participant would “gawk” at the employees and female participants in a vulgar way, and nothing could be done about it.
Source #1 also said, “women would be pregnant and either smoking weed or smoking cigarettes on camera in our line of vision, and we were not allowed to say anything.” They continued, “So, they were actively harming their children in the womb, in front of our eyes, and we were not allowed to say anything. We were not allowed to kick them out. We weren’t really empowering these women to actually improve their lives. We were simply acting as a place to stay, as opposed to helping these women improve. We were directly facilitating them literally abusing their children.”
Source #2 confirmed that “the ladies would have marijuana in their rooms, and they would smoke it in their rooms,” but the supervisors refused to take action or search rooms “extensively.” They added, “if we did find it, there wasn’t really a punishment.” They also stated, “there were several pregnant women that would be smoking cigarettes, and we couldn’t say anything to them” because they were in the designated smoking area. The source also alleged that participants consumed alcohol on campus and were at times “obviously intoxicated.”
Another former employee (source #3), who worked at the center for over one month in 2021, also confirmed to The Gateway Pundit that they could smell the weed but were not allowed to do anything about it. Source #3 told us that participants would also consume alcohol in an area that employees referred to as the “Alcohol Corner.” “We broke it up a few times, but it never lasted, and the supervisors never made any attempt to discourage this behavior,” said the third source.
When The Gateway Pundit contacted the Sojourner Center, we were informed that they “do not allow any substances on campus,” including marijuana and alcohol. Why aren’t they following their own rules? Why are employees not allowed to enforce the rules?
It is unclear if any sexual assault occurred at the facility. However, Source #1 said, “when I was there, nobody came forward about it. But we did have a sex worker staying there, who did come to us and tell us that she was assaulted by one of her clients, and we still actively let her leave the campus and continue on her way every night, working the streets.”
Source #2 stated, “we had multiple women that would solicit themselves at nearby parks and on the street right outside the shelter,” which “led to other issues because men in the neighborhood were harassing other participants.” They also told us that one woman occasionally took her kids to the park, where they were left unattended while the mother solicited herself. “The rhetoric around that from the higher-ups was, ‘we are sex worker positive. She’s making her money, and that is her decision.'” The former employee disagreed, saying, “that’s not safe.”
Source #3 confirmed that “one of the victims used the park as an excuse to bond with her children, but in reality, employees were notified that she was soliciting drugs with sexual favors.”
According to our sources, the participants would sometimes leave without signing out or notifying anybody, as required. Many did this to consume drugs or alcohol. Source #1 told us, “they came back intoxicated, which is against the rules. You sign a contract agreeing to abide by the rules on campus, and oftentimes, we did not follow through with disciplinary action.”
When asked how leadership told the employees to respond to the many rule violations, Source #1 said, “they really leaned into the victimization mentality. They would essentially claim that these women didn’t know better, or it was better that they were here as opposed to anywhere else.” They continued, “but the women were acting in a way that ultimately, they would end up somewhere else in worse situations.”
They also told The Gateway Pundit that these violations had been “going on for a while” and “everyone there was aware of the issues that were that were plaguing the organization.”
Source #2 said the victimization of participants and lack of accountability were happening more and more before they left the organization. They told us, “It was one of the reasons why I left,” and management was “putting everybody in jeopardy by not stepping in and holding them accountable.”
According to independent audit reports, the Sojourner Center took $4,963,801 in total support in the fiscal year 2021. They have also received numerous interest-free Community Development Block Grant construction loans from the City of Phoenix, totaling millions of dollars.
When asked if these funds were allocated productively, Source #1 responded, “I do not think so. Sometimes women would come to us at the front desk, asking for formula or diapers, and we would give them two diapers to last a whole day for their children.” They continued, “it seems like we weren’t allocating funding correctly. If a mom with a six-month-old child needs diapers, we’re gonna give them two diapers for this baby to walk around in a pee-filled diaper all day?”
They also said that the center was “often completely out of” baby formula in 2021, long before the Biden baby formula shortage of 2022. “Sometimes, it just took too long, so we would have women coming in basically being like ‘yeah, I stole it from the store.’ They would just openly admit it to the workers there,” the ex-employee told us.
Source #2 also confirmed that the shelter was not providing the necessary amount of diapers and baby formula.
Where did all that money go?
When asked what their worst experience at the shelter was, Source #1 said, “it had to have been the mom literally beating her kids and the people at the front desk saying something along the lines of ‘the kids are safer here than they would be in Child Protective Services.’ So, we were basically incentivizing this woman to continuously beat her special needs child.” They continued, “everyone who worked there was familiar with everything that went on. They can’t necessarily claim they had no idea of what was occurring. It just seems like it was an everyday thing they dealt with and tried to kind of move past.”
Source #1 and Source #3 agree “100%” that the serious issues were being “swept under the rug” by officials in the Sojourner Center. Source #2 also agreed this was happening, which is why they left the organization.
Democratic Arizona Gubernatorial Nominee Katie Hobbs began her career in 2000 as a social worker and lobbyist working with the Sojourner Center for more than ten years. She is now running on this experience, claiming that she has the background necessary to solve Arizona’s crises.
In 2010, Hobbs also served as director of government relations for the Sojourner Center, and she continued receiving compensation while serving in the House and Senate.
On Katie Hobbs’ Secretary of State webpage, she proudly advertises her history as “chief compliance officer at one of the largest domestic violence centers in the U.S..” She was likely in charge of overseeing compliance with rules and standards set by Sojourner Center.
This may explain Katie Hobbs’ incompetence and corruption. How could she not know what was going on here?
More recently, Hobbs gave the Sojourner Center her full endorsement in a March 23rd video message, asking “all Arizonans to support the Sojourner Center’s Start By Believing Effort” and saying, “I’ve seen firsthand the importance of the work this organization does and the effect it has on people’s lives.” She ended her message by saying, “please continue to support the work of the Sojourner Center.”
Watch the full video here.
Talonya Adams, who was recently awarded $2.75 million by a jury after facing racial discrimination from Katie Hobbs, pointed out Hobbs’ record with the Sojourner Center and Emerge Arizona. These organizations are known for propelling Hobbs’ career in politics. Adams, a Democrat, has called on Katie Hobbs to resign from her role as Secretary of State and drop out of the gubernatorial election.
Adams tweeted, “Let’s begin with her self-reported resume” when judging Hobbs’ record with a screenshot of self-reported compensation from both groups.
.@KatieHobbs wants to be #AZGov and to be judged on her record. Sure, there are many.
Let’s begin with her self-reported resume.👇🏾 pic.twitter.com/EMZ1n6LaNi
— Talonya Adams 🇺🇸 (personal acct) (@TalonyaAdams) August 9, 2022
As reported by the Arizona Capitol Times, Katie Hobbs’ work at the Sojourner Center “propelled her from a career in social work to the political realm.” Further, Hobbs “got her first taste of politics in 2004, as part of the first class of Emerge Arizona, a training program for Democratic women to enter politics, she says.” According to campaign finance reports, Hobbs received compensation from both organizations in 2014 and other years where she held office.
Emerge Arizona is a subsidiary of Emerge America, an organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for federal, state, and local offices nationwide and has promoted leftist billionaire George Soros’ radical takedown of the U.S. Justice System. Emerge America is supporting Katie Hobbs in the 2022 election for Arizona Governor. Hobbs was also paid out by Emerge Arizona as recently as 2015.
If these allegations of negligence at Sojourner Center are true, how can we trust Katie Hobbs to serve as Arizona’s Commander in Chief?
The women and children in this shelter deserve better care, and Arizona deserves a better Governor.