JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Clara White Mission leaders on Sunday responded to allegations of CEO Ju’Coby Pittman’s lack of transparency over a COVID-19 outbreak.
“I’m here to share with you today that Clara White Mission is strong. It’s strong y’all,” Pittman said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.
The news conference was held after five of the six executive committee board members of the Clara White Mission resigned. A letter obtained from Chairman Michelle Paul and signed by “resigning members of the Clara White Mission Executive Board” claimed that Pitman did not inform the board of several employees testing positive for COVID-19 until four days after it happened. Two staff members were hospitalized, including Pitman herself. The mission’s longtime chef, Keith Smith, died with the virus last month.
At Sunday’s news conference, mission leaders said there was a slight delay in reporting COVID-19 cases to the proper staff members, but it was not intentional. They said the mission stands solid and is ready to get back to serving the homeless.
Pittman said she, like others at the mission, is still mourning the loss of Smith.
She said the allegations are false, slanderous, hurtful and damaging to the financial support of the mission.
“The board members who interceeded did not understand the process, and if you don’t understand the process, I think you need to ask questions before you just try to take over and cripple the impact of feeding the homeless. Those of you who know me know that if I was out of the hospital, that would not have happened,” said Pittman, who is also a member of Jacksonville City Council.
Mission leaders said that moving forward from this, they will continue to be transparent as they always have.
The mission requires everyone to wear masks and offers free vaccinations every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon.