Part 1: HOPE For Humanity Investigation - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Part 1: HOPE For Humanity Investigation

Posted: Updated:
MORGANTOWN -

UPDATE:

The project that said it was spending millions of dollars to help West Virginians has been under fire but the state Attorney General's office said no one has filed a formal complaint.

We have received complaints that Hope for Humanity promised new homes, paid bills, and house renovations but failed to follow through.

The Attorney General's office said it cannot comment on whether it is conducting a formal investigation.

For more information, read parts 2, 3 and 4 of our Hope for Humanity investigation series.


Original Story

HOPE for Humanity describes itself as a non-profit organization.

The project promised millions in help to West Virginians but many said they were let down instead.

We start our first of several pieces looking into what happened to the millions of dollars in donations and the many people the project let down.

"At the end of the week, you look at your paycheck and you see what little is left, and you decide do I buy medicine?, do I buy groceries?, or spend this to go back to work and do it all over again," said Karen Schnopp, in February as she rolled out HOPE For Humanity during her business's, HOPE Klothing Kubbard, clothing giveaway.

Many applications were filled out, but questions to whether any projects were ever completed loom.

"Every time my wife would email Karen, it was 'oh we have to wait another week, oh it's another week', and that went on and on," said David Braun, who said HOPE For Humanity promised his family a new home. "She said she was working with another home place because American Homes kept raising their prices, and I haven't heard from her since," added his wife Melanie.

The Brauns were one of many families disappointed by HOPE for Humanity. Families were promised houses, renovations, and money to pay off bills.

Schnopp said rumors about HOPE For Humanity being a fraud and scandal scared off millions of dollars in lined up donations.

"When the people withdrew their money, unless we were just helping people clean, or the few individuals who just handed us money and said 'just buy a person fuel, or help do this.' I didn't have the resources so I had to stop," said Schnopp, the former director of HOPE For Humanity.

Some people, even former committee members, claim Schnopp was scamming everyone.

But without any claims of missing money the lines are certainly not black-and-white. Schnopp said it was essentially business gone wrong, adding that she really couldn't get the money if she wanted.

She and former committee members agree that the non-profit wasn't to actually receive money; that was to be handled through accountants and lawyers.

"I never touched any of the money, so as far as it being a scam, it isn't or wasn't," Schnopp said. "I would love to help people. Like I said, I'm not rich, and I don't have the funds or money, but I still would help people."

Regardless of intention, HOPE For Humanity is not listed in the West Virginia Secretary of State charities database.

If it wasn't a scam, many wonder how Schnopp could make so many promises that couldn't be kept.

"She's given these people false hope," said Stormy Matlick, a former committee member of HOPE For Humanity. "So now what's happened is she's changed her phone number and deleted people and blocked people from Facebook, but yet you have hundreds of people trying to pick their life up and make sense of what she's done."

Over the next few days we'll meet some of these affected families, and look closer at whether or not the donors ever existed in the first place.