Tiny Non-profit Helping Poor Fights Back Against Man They Say Stole Not Only Their Insurance Money But Their Rent

A non-profit in Eureka that works to reduce homelessness, among other good works, almost became homeless this last month when their insurance agent and sublease-holder kept their payments for himself, alleges Brandie Wilson, one of the board of directors for HACHR, the Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction.

Cheerful gathering

HACHR’s staff.

The trouble began last fall, she said. Gathering the almost $2400 her small non-profit needed to pay insurance last October was hard but expected however, the insurance agent she trusted to give the money to ABA Insurance Services, John Ford, didn’t pay the premium even though he cashed her check the day after she gave it to him. Wilson didn’t realize this until January when she received a notice of cancellation from her insurance company.

On top of that, HACHR subleased their office space from John Ford. Wilson was worried about how to confront Ford about the insurance problem. Then, on that on January 11, she saw a letter to the editor from Thomas Mulder complaining that Ford had taken money from his non-profit without providing worker’s compensation insurance.

insurance sign

By Deepashree S via Wikimedia Commons

In tears, she called us. “If we complained [about the insurance money], would we lose our office space? It’s in the perfect place to serve our clients.”

Wilson felt defeated. How could she come up with the money for the insurance company again? HACHR operates on a shoestring budget.

“We serve the most disenfranchised people in our community,” she said. HACHR, the Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction, works to reduce “overdose deaths, mental illness, suicide, and homelessness rates.”

“We feed people. We connect people to health care, with treatment, and with testing,” she said.

They desperately needed their office which is located near the Humboldt County Courthouse but Ford subleased property he rented to them. And, according to Wilson, even though HACHR had been paying him, he hadn’t been paying their landlord. “John hadn’t paid our rent since $700 in November (that wasn’t even half of what was owed!),” she told us.HACHR logo

Gingerly, on January 11, Wilson reached out to Ford asking about the insurance. He stated via text that it had been “paid in full.” Then he went on to insist that her “policy is solid.”

Knowing she was in trouble, Wilson not only reached out to us but she also contacted the District Attorney’s Office and, Paul Gallegos, the attorney representing Thomas Mulder’s non-profit. Gallegos agreed to represent her. “He is only charging us costs,” she said with relief. “He is not charging us for his time. He’s doing it because he says we need support.”

Now, with the help of a few others, Wilson and her non-profit are beginning to see a way clear from this mess. Most importantly, HACHR doesn’t have to come up with more money for the insurance company. “The insurance company is going to take that loss,” she explained. “Because I paid one of their representatives” so the company is responsible for covering the problem. HACHR has insurance for another year.

In addition, they have bypassed Ford to reach out to the owners of their office space. “Gallegos called them and we now are the main lease holders to our building,” Wilson said gleefully. “We feel like our own damn super heroes now…Gallegos gave us the cape!”

Wilson has plans. “Now the building will be our center…We went from almost being homeless to…we now have the building.”  They have found a housing non-profit that will be moving in and subleasing from HACHR.

She notes that she does have a dream for HACHR she hopes will come true. “We do have another office space [and] we are hoping for a mental health non-profit [to rent that space] because then we would be an amazing center.”

If you would like to help this tiny non-profit, then check out their Facebook page’s donate button (it’s currently down, but should be working later today) or their Paypal account.





  • Beulah Velveteen Deville

    https://www.facebook.com/JohnRFord Is this the guy who did this?

    • DumpTrumptheChump


      • I met a real estate agent a while back, and bought a house through him. I then learned that he was a felon who had been an insurance agent/landlord, and had done approximately the same as what we see here… Later, this RE agent was shot to death by a store security guard after he drew down on the guard who was trying to stop him from leaving a store with a carton of smokes.

        I feel certain that the universe will:
        Repay those who screw over others for small gains, in some manner.
        Provide those who will repair the damage done by the evil.

        Live and learn! Trust but verify!

  • Prison for this shyster! Fantastic ending for the nonprofit. Ford should be running from the law.

  • His days and nights must be filled with stress. Anone who knows him has seen what’s going on. I haven’t seen one comment from someone standing up for him. Next he will close his office. I’m sure nobody will trust him anymore. Another Humboldt County ass hat!!

  • JOHN FRAUD FORD. He should be arrested.like a Long time ago!!! I hope all the folks he stole from get some sort of pay back.like money and or jail. SHAME SHAME on you Fraud Ford🖕

  • Behavior like this saddens me, because it hurts us all.

  • It’s good to hear that Gallegos is back where he belongs. Doing good things in the court system. As a DA he was terrible and allowed criminals of all kinds to get away with making our county a mess. I’m glad to hear of him doing something good!

    • Could you please reference what kind of criminals he let “make a mess”?
      He actually did an ok job, when the police dont provide good evidence for the DA to prosecute then the DA cant do their job. It seems like crime these days is way worse than when he was DA.

      After Terry Farmer, having a DA who would meet with citizens regardless of class/political views to discuss issues in person felt golden.
      Maybe you dont remember the pre-gallegos days, he got elected because of how bad it had gotten.
      A DA married to a county supervisor who were all in the pocket of maxxam did not sit well with me nor many others. Look it up if you werent here then.

      • Yes this is a side issue. Yes, I remember Terry Farmer and others before him. Been here since ’81. I won’t do all your work for you but shortly- the Indian who ran over the bicyclist on 299, the guy who killed and buried his wife in McKinleyville, the guy who Gallegos let off who then ran down the 2 women near Indianola, countless other weak plea bargains he allowed letting serious violent criminals off with minimal sentences. But mostly his public opening of our county to dope growers from around the world who came with gang, mafia, cartel and other criminal elements. Sure- some growers are cool. But not like what happened here. Yes- it’s now water under the ridge but I comment here for the sake of a future history lesson that may be gleaned from blogs like this. Gallegos was terrible as DA and allowed criminals to run free and grow millions of dollars while sticking us all with the consequences.

    • I thought he did well with limited resources. He put away chimos.

  • Sadly John Ford really needs to be in JAIL!!!! How is it he has stolen all these honest hard working peoples money and he is still out to enjoy their money……I feel for his family as I always do in these cases. They are the innocent ones. All along they think he (husband and father) is this great business guy when in reality he’s a huge thief. His days in this county are over and before long he will be doing some time in the big house and rightfully so.

  • Looks like this story has a silver lining. Things are getting better for them, and maybe there are others, like me, who didn’t know of this non-profit and now look forward to donating to them. Keep up the awesome, righteous work. Y’all are epic:)!!!!!!!!!!

  • We had an insurance agent in Nevada County. He cashed our checks and didn’t get us the insurance coverage. He went to jail for a year. Now he’s a handyman in our community

  • John is handy all rightey…with his lying lips. No hand needed.

  • Thank you Gallegos. I always knew that you are a good guy with a big heart.

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