This review is to provide an overview of the lack of services rendered by untrained staff by the non-profit (dis) organization called “LifeWire” located in Bellevue, Washington. I am a straight, single woman who was a client of LifeWire’s from the beginning of April 2016, for the duration of approximately 9 months. I received what are known as ‘advocacy’ services, which is a bogus term for ‘ a warm body in a chair who collects a paycheck at my expense.’ This complaint will address the following – the adhoc training of their staff and how it prolonged my state of ‘homelessness’ after being in a dysfunctional intimate partner relationship, the lack of continuity of their (dis) organizatinon and how it prolonged me being ‘held hostage’ in a geographical location where services were unavailable to help me (they claimed they ‘could’ help with moving costs / relocation), and prolonged emotional durress I experienced as a result of their “bait and switch” marketing tactics as well as “false community self-promotion.” All of this will be explained below. This is a true story, so hold on tightly. | According to FraudWire’s website, the (dis)organization’s mission exists to: “….end domestic violence by changing individual, institutional and societal beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate it.” The ‘services’ are free, and let me tell you, “you get what you pay for.” To start, I am someone well aware of the circumstances I faced, so my ‘beliefs’ didn’t need to be changed. Simply stated, I needed a certain amount of financial assistance to recover losses from dating a real sociopath, who repeatedly made false police reports against me, one of which led to me facing criminal charges which were later dropped. Someone with an exceptional level of intelligence, and whose sneaky computer hacking tactics should not be overlooked. | When I first met with an ‘advocate’ I sensed she was new, and later found this to be correct. This woman was at least 10 years my younger, so there was no way she could understand or relate to the situation. I sense it may have been her first job. When we met, the most she could provide to me was what is called “supportive listening,” where we meet at a coffee house, and she just “listens.” Literally. No dialogue, just me talking to dead air and deaf ears. She gets paid for this at my expense (or maybe yours?). On top of that, there were several occasions I met with an ‘advocate’ where she purchased a smoothie or coffee etc. and never offered to buy me anything! This is stated to showcase the sheer lack of ‘presence’ regarding human communication. | In the ‘advocate’ meetings, there was no structure like in a psycho- therapy session – where a therapist does a family of origin intake, and sees the “big picture,” asks about goals, what measures you are taking to achieve the goals, etc. The ‘advocate’ is not allowed to take notes, in the event such could be used in a lawsuit. To compare, I could have received similar ‘listening’ services from someone I met on an online forum or website such as Craigslist. Or, just someone off the street. Remember, she’s getting paid just to ‘sit there’ and drink her smoothie while I was literally without a permanent residence. Oh, and without a smoothie. | Educationally, all that is needed to be an ‘advocate’ is holding a bachelor’s degree. None of the ‘adovcates’ have training in mental health or hold any mental health credentials. In fact, when I was enrolled in services at Fraudwire, the only mental health counselor on staff had left, so the ‘confidential therapy’ services they claim to offer were not being rendered to anyone. | I had surmised an ‘advocate’ could help me to conduct research for new housing opportunites, or help me to apply to health insurances or something like disablity (if needed) and be able to make calls on my behalf, proofread applications on my behalf, etc. I have worked as a personal assistant prior, for a gentlman with cerebal palsy, and did all of these things as his “right hand woman.” I thought ‘advocates’ would be of a similar nature. So, when I was in a state of extreme emotional distress, the weakest point in my life, I had to do ALL this myself. The ‘advocate’ would even listen to me complain about how stressed I was trying to juggle all of the paperwork, etc., yet she just blankly stared or stated, catchphrases such as, “I’m sorry” or “good luck.” And, just a bunch of “nodding” like a ‘yes man’ regarding my situation. | Further, and this is unbelievable – I was never directed to any proper trauma centers such as Harborview (located in Seattle) or suggested to go to a hospital due to injuries I may have sustained (which were later confirmed by doctors), as a result of the violence. Those who experience violence often sustain a traumatic brain injury and various types of bodily bruising etc. This place could have cared less about my health, happiness or well-being. On a side note, there’s a lot of malpractice going on in the ER around this sort of thing – so it’s difficult to find anyone to listen. | As this is being written, there is a mega advertisment on the Fraudwire website for a “World of Hope Gala and Auction.” Way to give victims some privay, eh? Newsflash – people visit the homepage seeking information on how they can be helped as a domestic violence victim. They don’t care about a “gala.” This showcases gross neglect for the population FraudWire aims to serve, and showcases absolute submission to the “donors.” Yes, you can re-read that, “donors.” | After a few months of “being enrolled with services,” I noticed the website had been updated. Hmmmm… that costs money, doesn’t it? Sure does. The most I had received at this point was a bus pass or bus tickets and a burn phone. And maybe a little help paying a bill or two. Maybe about $300 or so worth of “financial help.” What a joke. | LifeWire’s services didn’t get me housed, and literally left me prolonged without a permanent physical residence. I will spare all the details, but an ‘advocate’ herself, once gave me a list of ‘resources’ basically with names of homeless women’s shelters (I had no idea what one was) many of which were 30 miles or more away from where I was living (temporarily). Absolutely no practical thinking, here. How will I get there? No mental preparation of what to expect or anything. Boy was I in for a surprise! | Fast foward, and I found myself literally sleeping on a church floor, on a mat that was about two inches thick, about 6 inches away from other women who were in various states of psychosis and coughing on themselves and me. Each side of me, in each direction had a woman. I literally had to put my personal belonings in a garbage bag upon entering, and could not leave them overnight. Over the course of several months, I had at least six thefts occur, of precious, sentimental items that can never be replaced. My ID was stolen twice, and many documents with personal information. To date, I am still cleaning up this mess. So much for Fraudwire helping me to be “housed.” | In these places, I had too many assaults to count by women who would set me up, and try to empathize with my situation and then later steal my purse. I had staff at one of these places say, “I don’t deny that that probably happened to you here.” Wow! In addition, I frequently had staff touch me, grab me (while I’d be standing in line to use the loo), barricade me from leaving, walk in on me while I was peeing, etc. I also had staff at one place use explatives such as, “get the f*** up ladies” and then kick a pile of chairs to wake up women. | So, as LifeWire couldn’t house me, this was my option, that is, until I finally confided in some folks, had interim housing, let’s just leave it at that. | LifeWire’s financial structure doesn’t operate to help with sublets, it aims to put victims into “permanent housing.” Well, guess what? The only constant in life is change, so nothing is permanent. I tired to see if the Fraudies could help with a “sublet” but to no avail. I was once told by their “Housing Stability Advocate” – “we need to know you have a plan, that this is permanent.” | Further addressing the lack of housing services rendered, it states on their website they help to, “Prevent Family Homelessness.” Operative word being family. Anyone who is childfree by choice or who has an adult child is left hanging. There are three supposed housing options under this tab: “Hotel-Motel Voucher Program”, where it states, “we are able to pay for short stays in area hotels or motels, offering an immediate crisis intervention option to survivors when local shelters are full.” I was a perfect candidte for this supposed program. Yet, I never was on the receiving end of this. This is one of the biggest and most publicized fradulatnt claims by LifeWire. If one calls their “hotline” and speaks to someone on “the helpline” the other party will often say, “well, we have things like hotel-motel vouchers.” These poor workers are so far removed from people like me writing this, that they may actually believe people calling receive such! This is bogus! Bogus! Bogus! | The other two optinos under the “Prevent Family Homeless” tab include: | Our emergency shelter, My Sister’s Home, offers confidential emergency housing and supportive services for families and individuals in lethal situations. My Sister’s Home is uniquely suited to accommodate families of all types, including families with teenage boys, transgender individuals and members of the LGTBQ community and men. | Our transitional housing shelter, My Friend’s Place, offers confidential transitional housing and supportive services to survivors healing from both domestic violence and substance abuse. | These services were never offered to me, either. Nor, was it stated I could qualify as a “family” of one. | Emotionally, I was a vaccum after these complete “bait and switch” marketing tactics and false advertising, which I was hooked on from the start and encouraged to speak to an ‘advocate’ one day when I called Fraudwire’s ‘helpline.’ Dear Lord! | Additionally, with ‘advocates’ frequently saying, “We don’t have funding for that” or “we may have funding, but not yet” or “we’ve helped you enough, we can’t help you anymore”people are litererally left hanging! Will it be tomorrow? The next day? The day after that. Come on – there is no transparency, and that is a false sign of hope to people in vulnerable times! li In a person’s most desperate time of life, just red tape! No concrete figures. That’s not how the real world works – businesses need real figures. Not here, though. They sure did pay their staff the whole time, without any problems….. | Back to the “bait and switch” – in addition to housing services being falsely advertised, the (dis) organization went out into the community to promote itself by having talks at the “local public library” of all places. Again, public relations! I was absolutely floored to find this out, as it cost them time, money, energy to pay someone to this, all while I am sitting there waiting for a sum of money so I can get an apartment. They have mastered the art of fraud. All the local social service organizations have their business card and refer people there. One woman at a social service excitedly said to me, “you know, I know of a place that can help you…..” I remember thinking, “wow, this is it, I finally have some leads.” And, guess what? It was Fraudwire. | I tried to explain to the aforementoned woman my very clear reasoning and provided clear factual evidence as to how I did not receive help fom Fraudwire. She said, “that’s it, I’m calling them.” hahah Yeah right. They have it down to a T these people, and have the community convinced they are helping women who are domestic violence victims, when in reality they send people into a circle of red tape, social service phones that go unanswered, or a negative feedback loop where, one will eventually end up being referred to “Fraudwire” for help. What a headache! | Also, those who live in rural towns in King County are very overlooked. No one at the staff of Fraudwire had heard of where I lived (small town of under 8,000). Their services tried to put me into the ‘city’ which didn’t matter anyhow, because very little was rendered. Most of their staff lived in a suburb or city and did not understand my geographic location as a completely different culture with different barriers (even though it was in the same county). | Oh, and one last thing – Lifewire’s use of rhetoric is slick. They use the word domestic violence “survivor” not “victim” which is complete mind control. Until someone has recovered from a violent situation, he or she is still a victim who experiences the tragic aftermath of such a horriffic situation. This ‘victimhood’ should not be brushed under the rug or taken lightly. LifeWire uses “survivor” so loosely, and does no real assessment (such as in my case) to identify if I had been being stalked or still harassed after I had physically left the situation (which I was). I found myself calling hotlines in New York to get more coaching on the situation. | Where am I today? – Still experiencing the lasting effects of the intimate partner violence and awakening to the mindcontrol of the ‘advocacy’ groups. Buyer Beware. |
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