Sunday, January 11, 2009

McDevitt's Evergreen Foundation joined at hip to Meridian Behavioral Health: interest free housing loans up to $500,000/ projects 4 mental health cl

Clever guy. You gotta give that to him.

"Sweetest Deal

While the state’s mental health system lay in shambles, the director of a regional mental health agency was having a bit of an easier go. Smoky Mountain Center for Mental Health Director Tom McDevitt allegedly paid himself two salaries, gave himself special perks, and changed the date of his hire to dodge taxes on his retirement benefits. McDevitt also paid his wife commission for real estate transactions and used a loophole in the agency’s guidelines to employ his daughter. All the while, McDevitt raked in one of the highest six-figure salaries in the state among those with comparable positions.

McDevitt cemented his authority by convincing his board to approve a five-year contract, an unusual request for a mental health agency director. But he didn’t leave much room for the 30 members of the Smoky Mountain Center board to question his activities — McDevitt attempted to amend the board’s bylaws with a phrase that threatened consequences for speaking negatively about the agency.

After a Smoky Mountain News investigation shed light on some of McDevitt’s activities, the board of the agency took swift action and called for McDevitt’s resignation."


TA DA: Encore! Encore!

Waynesville, NC newspaper, The Mountaineer, January 9, 2009, page 2A

"McDevitt Honored

....assumes director of The Evergreen Foundation......"

And who is the Evergreen Foundation?


Get Phone Number

PO BOX 2089
SYLVA, NC, 28779-2089
Employee Identification Number: 561351883
Ruling Date: June 1983
Deductions: Contributions are deductible
Activity: Mental health care
Activity: Gifts, grants, or loans to other organizations.
Organization Type: Corporation
Latest Return Filed: June 2005
Filing Requirement: 990 - All other or 990EZ return. No 990PF return.
Fiscal Year End Date: June
Asset Amount : $ 14,875,709
Income Amount: $1,370,144
Form 990 Revenue Amount: $1,270,385
Organization Type: Community Mental Health Center

There is something currently very strange going on re: Meridian Behavioral Health (they're the people that get the lion's share of all the mental health funding vis a vis SMC LME) and Smoky Mountain Center LME (the largest LME in NC).

A person who is an employee there and an acquaintance of mine indicated that there is talk that, 'there's got to be a decision about what we're going to be called....Smoky Mountain Center or Meridian.'

Odd, given that all the LME's in eastern NC are being driven to DIVEST of their holding onto their employees who continue to be not just administrative but clinical also. If you'll recall, one of the main thrusts of NC mental health reform was specifically associated with separating the clinical from the administrative. SMC LME has distinctly not done that, though there be two different names.

Gosh, is that because SMC LME has ALWAYS BEEN MERIDIAN?

Something smells here. As per people I know in Waynesville, NC, the largest, in terms of concentrated population, service area for SMC LME-----feigning to be (and vice versa) Meridian Behavioral Health (CEO of Meridian was co-director of SMC LME, Joe Ferraro, working at SMC LME for 17 years)------there is housing which is being paid for via Meridian which must be associated w/ this: 'General Assembly allocated 10.9 million to the Housing Trust Fund (NCHFA) for rental housing development and $1.2 million to the NC DHHS for operating subsidy.

Enter the Supportive Housing Development Program:

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency’s Supportive Housing Development Program helps nonprofits, local governments, and lead regional organizations develop emergency, transitional and permanent housing for persons who are homeless and/or have disabilities.
The program provides interest-free loans up to $500,000 per development. To qualify, projects must include or make available appropriate support services for the residents.,12,Housing

Housing 400 Initiative:,13,Housing 400 Initiative

Capital Funds for SHDP 400 and PLP 400
Rental Assistance for SHDP 400, PLP 400, and Key Program

So, we've got this Evergreen Foundation, creating housing with a 2005 asset value of over $ 14 million and Tom McDevitt and Joe Ferraro are somehow associated w/ it.

Here is the request I wrote to that agency that manages this funding:

I am investigating the usage of SHDP housing in western NC which would have been obtained via Smoky Mountain Center LME and Meridian Behavioral Health, who probably both applied, as 501 c3 agencies, for SHDP housing. Is there a list of housing associated w/ their usage of the SHDP monies? Is there an overall list for NC as associated w/ these funds for the past five years online somewhere?
Thanks for your assistance.
Marsha V. Hammond, PhD
For more information, please contact please contact Mike Mittenzwei (919-877-5654 or, Margrit Bergholz (919-877-5633 or mcbergholz, Gwen Belcredi (919-877-5648 or or Mary Reca Todd (919-877-5672 or


Blogger Margaret Matrone said...

Dear Ms. Hammond,

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency hasn’t funded any projects sponsored by The Evergreen Foundation, the Smoky Mountain Center for Mental Health, or Meridian Behavioral Health, from the SHDP 400 Initiative or other funds. None of these organizations has applied to our Agency for funds.

The N.C. Housing Finance Agency provided (non-SHDP 400) funding to The ARC of Haywood County to build a group home for persons with developmental disabilities that recently opened in Waynesville. The Agency has funded other housing for persons with disabilities in Western North Carolina as well. As an LME in the area, Smoky Mountain Center may provide referrals and services for some of the residents of these properties. Our funding is used for housing development costs only, not services.

Please phone if you have other questions, since we're not active bloggers.

Margaret Matrone
Director of Communications

12:47 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home