The three Avendanos: From left, Tomas ‘Tatay Tom’ Avendano, Jr., President and CEO, brother Demetrio, board member and son Benedicto, board member and internal auditor. (PCN.Com composite)

Vancouver B.C.

Multicultural Helping House Society faces imminent closure

Analysis

By Ted Alcuitas

Editor, [email protected]

(This a developing story)

Immigrant services agency Multicultural Helping House Society (MHHS) is literally on fire with a string of resignations of its board of directors including its executive director yesterday (August 22).

Following the departure of CEO Tom Avendano, his brother Demetrio and son Benedicto from the board last July 31, executive director Will Davis also quit, citing evidence that the board plans to “kick” him out at today’s (August23) AGM.

Today at 12:30 PM, caregiver and supporters will be rallying at the headquarters of MHHS who is holding their AGM at 4802 Fraser St.

“There are many unanswered questions about where the money we raised went, about why caregivers are being sold insurance in the building and about why members were taken off the MHHS membership list,” says a press release by the Filipino Canadian Advocacy Network.

Living with a ‘paramour’?

Norilyn Delos Reyes (Facebook)

Not only are there allegations of financial mismanagement and other irregularities but Avendano has also been alleged to have a relationship with his caregiver, Norilyn Delos Reyes, according to a local paper.

Delos Reyes, a financial advisor,  is at the centre of the controversy surrounding allegations of “selling” insurance to caregiver clients of the agency.

A widower, Avendano reportedly lives with the caregiver and other people. Delos Reyes also acts as his “driver”, according to Avendano in denying the allegations.

“Doesn’t the community understand? I’m 91 and I need someone to be on my side,” Avendano said. “I’m afraid if there’s no hand I can hold onto. Don’t I have the right to get a person who can help me? Why do they make these accusations against me? It’s shameful, ” Avendano told a local newspaper when asked about the rumours.

In the interview, Avendano criticized his lawyer for advising him to quit the board “…in order to pacify things, we should leave, which was also wrong advice, I think….”

Avendano has repeatedly refused an interview with this paper including a request today at 6:15 AM.

Breaking: Avendanos resign from MHHS board amidst controversy