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Missing money prompts firing of long-time Anawim House employee

Anawim Companions Society called in police after discovering a sum of money missing days before Christmas
Anawim House for men. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

A local charity has fired a long-time employee and called for a Victoria police investigation after discovering a sum of money missing days before Christmas.

Anawim Companions Society, which helps some of the region’s most vulnerable people with programs and two residential facilities, confirmed Monday it had terminated a member of its staff soon after discovering the missing funds.

“We believe this involves a relatively small amount of misappropriated money but the scope of this investigation, timing and its conclusions are not known at this time,” said Helen Pedneault, treasurer with the society’s board of directors.

Pedneault said the alleged misappropriation has not had any impact on the “important services Anawim provides to Victoria’s homeless and impoverished citizens.”

She said the charity was “deeply dismayed” by the situation and has instituted internal changes, bolstered safeguards and launched an internal review.

With the information the society has uncovered to date, it’s confident the theft was a recent and isolated incident, Pedneault said.

She said that the charity is “committed to transparency” around the incident and will share details as soon as police conclude their investigation.

The Anawim Companions Society is a non-profit charity that offers a network of services, programs and two residential facilities, Anawim House for men and Susan’s Place for women.