CLEVELAND- A retired minister says he had high hopes for a house on Cleveland's east side that was renovated through a unique program that teaches former prison inmates the building trades, while at the same time creating affordable housing for their families.
But a family in need was robbed of that opportunity when thieves forced their way into the house on Friday by prying open a security door and destroying a home security system.
Dr. Brian Moore, CEO of the nonprofit organization Passages Inc., told Fox 8, “I went through the five phases of grief, anger was one of them." Once inside, the crooks tore apart a year’s worth of sweat equity, shed by hard working contractors and those trying to find the right path in life. "Stole the water heater and the furnace, brand new water heater, brand new furnace, ripped all of that out," said Dr. Moore.
The burglars also caused damage when they dragged the items out of the house. “These same individuals that violated this property in this way, could have come to our organization for help, we would have helped them secure employment and be able to take care of their families,” said Dr. Moore.
Clevelanders who identify with the mission of Passages Inc. are already offering assistance to restore the house. "We got a call from an individual that said they had been holding onto a furnace for the last couple of years, they didn't know why and that if that furnace would fit in this house, they would love to donate it," said Dr. Moore.
Passages Inc. is now trying to secure the house and once again get it ready for a family that will make it their home. "We're not going to be discouraged because if we were to give up today, then those cowards would win and we would not be able to go on with the important work that we've been called to do,” said Dr. Moore.
Anyone interested in making a donation to help make repairs to the home, or to support the mission of the nonprofit organization, can go to passages-oh.org or call 216-881-6776.