Rensselaer homeless burglarized, asks for community’s help

November 09, 2017 02:39 PM

RENSSELAER -- For 11 years, St. Paul's Center in Rensselaer has been providing shelter to homeless mothers and children.

“The center was opened to address a definite need to provide emergency housing for homeless moms and their children,” said Executive Director Tracy Pitcher. 

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Pitcher was shocked when she learned the place had been burglarized. 

“My heart was just broken when we realized that all of these items were gone,” Pitcher said. 

Over a week ago, more than 60 donated handbags and other items were set aside in the shelter for an upcoming fundraiser. 

“We have an online Facebook sale on November 28, on Giving Tuesday, and these are usually very high-end bags with jewelry and scarves,” Pitcher said. 

Within days Pitcher and employees, including, Sibie Osorio, realized most had been stolen.

“And we had only nine left,” Pitcher said. 

“It's unfortunate when a facility like this gets that kind of a hit,” Osorio said. 

The shelter serves about 180 mothers and their children each year. It relies on donations.

“It’s a safe haven for a lot of women that are looking to get away from the domestic violence issues and family oriented issues,” Osorio said. 

Pitcher said two people familiar with the shelter were arrested last Thursday in connection with the robbery.

The $3,000 to $4,000 of stolen goods are still missing. That money was meant for an affordable housing facility.

“It's going to be housing homeless families,” Pitcher said. “Moms, dads and their kids.”

Pitcher is now trying to get the word out through social media and other ways by asking for help replacing those items before this month's fundraiser. 

“Just for the purpose of you know supporting homeless families,” she said.


Nia Hamm

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