Receiver: Casa Ruby should be dissolved

A court-appointed receiver has reported to a judge that Casa Ruby, the D.C. nonprofit that provided transitional housing for LGBTQ youth, should be shut down.

The Wanda Alston Foundation was appointed to examine the condition of Casa Ruby, which closed earlier this year amid accusations of financial mismanagement by founder Ruby Corado, who stepped down as executive director last year.

The receiver’s report said workers at Casa Ruby haven’t been paid since May, and that rent hasn’t been paid on two of the organization’s properties since 2020. The receiver has taken over two of Casa Ruby’s properties, which “were abandoned and appeared to have been ransacked.”

The report found that Casa Ruby’s meaningful assets come down to a few pieces of donated furniture, while outstanding bills and invoices, and unpaid back rent, total more than $2 million.

The receiver also said it was securing financial information, as well as personal possessions and identification of clients, in the locations, and added it may need more time in one of the buildings before the landlord is allowed to start eviction proceedings.

The foundation said it had reached out to the office of D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine to  “advise them of potential criminal misconduct that it had uncovered, and to make arrangements for the transfer” of potential evidence.

The report said the receiver has also found months’ worth of mail for clients, including “correspondence regarding government benefits, immigration applications and other pressing matters.”

The Alston Foundation also said in the report that “the local LGBTQ+ community has come together to address the situation quite well.”

Volunteers from sports leagues and mutual assistance networks have been on site over the past three weeks going through the mail and trying to contact clients and ex-workers, while other nonprofits and businesses have helped in various ways.

Corado stepped down as executive director of the organization she founded last October, after an $850,000 grant from the D.C. Department of Human Services was not renewed. Last month, Racine accused Corado of misusing the organization’s money, and said she had probably left the country.

The receiver’s report said an email was sent to Corado on Sept. 10, and that Corado has not replied.

Racine’s office has previously said Corado acted “without any board oversight,” and that the board had not met between 2012 and 2020. Three board members resigned between September 2021 and April 2022, and remaining board members “are inactive,” Racine’s court filing said.

The receiver’s report said “Casa Ruby’s Board of Directors failed to provide any meaningful oversight.”

The Washington Blade says the next court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 29.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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