Thieves target center helping homeless

June 30, 2010 4:47:43 PM PDT
A center with a mission to help the homeless has been targeted by thieves. They broke in and took huge air conditioning units, leaving the center to deal with the heat. "They have crippled us right now. They have crippled us," said Isha Salas-Desselle with the Turning Point Center.

Three concrete pads sit bare. Lines to where the 5 ton AC coils sat are severed. The job to rob a homeless service center was premeditated.

Salas-Desselle explained, "They cut the wire there first and then cut this one here and they took all three."

Sometime Saturday night, thieves executed their plan, getting around a wrought iron fence and two fences to walk off with a total of five AC units.

The Turning Point Resource Center celebrated its grand opening in October. So the AC units were just eight months old. They're housed next to the 75 unit Turning Point Center that serves mostly elderly homeless.

Turning Point resident Phillip Patterson said, "I had cancer a couple of years ago and they helped me go through it. I got to stay here and then all of a sudden I got better."

"Houston is very hot in the summer a lot of us are over 50 and elderly and can't take the heat," said Turning Point resident Colby Brown.

Now AC vents inside sit idle. Fans are blowing and drinks are on ice. But with temperatures approaching 90 degrees inside, the job training, medical services and clothing donations are on hold. Its founder still puzzled as to how they became a target.

"When you hit up the homeless that is pretty low," said Salas-Desselle.

Weeks Air Conditioning came by and donated five new units and the installation. Now Turning Point is looking to upgrade to a stronger fence.


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