Nonprofit accused of scamming families out of rent money

Six families say they are now being evicted even though they say they paid their rent. (Photo: WSBTV.com)
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Six families say they are now being evicted even though they say they paid their rent. (Photo: WSBTV.com)

Six families said they were taken advantage of by a nonprofit organization they thought was designed to help prevent homelessness.

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Tenants who rent a Decatur home through the nonprofit Onnie's House told Channel 2's Wendy Halloran they are furious, because in four days they'll have nowhere to go -- and they feel defrauded by the very organization that promised to help put a stop to homelessness.

"We felt like they were legitimate. It was Onnie's House. Their purpose is to stop homelessness, bring in families and help. And that turned out to be the furthest thing from what they actually did," renter Charlesa Walker said.

On fliers from the organization, Onnie’s House said it dedicates itself to eliminating homelessness in metro Atlanta. Its ultimate goal is to rent out a home to house people who need shelter.

In June, six families moved into a home in Decatur through the organization.

After paying rent of about $650 per month, which includes utilities and some food, they were served with an eviction notice by DeKalb County marshals in late July.

The renters are accusing the man behind Onnie's House, Robert Davis, of taking their money for his own personal gain.

“We were told, the quote was, ‘You think I’m gonna pay your rent and not my car note?’ So, basically, all of my money that we were using for rent was used for their personal bills and their whatever they wanted it to be used for,” Walker said.

"That is so selfish, so selfish. That's just despicable. I can't even speak on it," renter Connie Brown said.
Now, the renters have be out by Aug. 14.

“I feel like we were totally used and I’m just very upset because there is no place for me and my family to go,” Brown said.

Halloran spoke to Davis over the phone Saturday night.

He denied he was scamming the families and said they all didn’t pay what they were supposed to pay.

He claimed the owner of the home would not take a partial payment and told Halloran he still has their money, but used some of it to pay utilities and for landscape work at the home.

“I feel like we were totally used and I’m just very upset because there is no place for me and my family to go,” Brown said.

Halloran also spoke with the home’s property manager and he confirmed Davis did not pay the rent, and he took him to court and got the eviction.

That eviction is in Davis' name. Come Wednesday, the families will have nowhere to go.

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