SAN BERNARDINO -- A nonprofit shelter for homeless women was burglarized and ransacked Tuesday night, according to shelter administrators.
Time for Change Foundation, which provides emergency services for homeless women and children in the 2900 block of North Mt. View Avenue, was apparently robbed while women and children were attending "Mommy and Me" classes, according to spokesman John Kunkel.
"I try hard not to take these things so personal, but inside I'm crying because I feel the women's pain and the hopelessness that arises when they feel like giving up when something like this happens" says Kim Carter, Executive Director of Time for Change Foundation. "Remember, that these families are amongst the least of us and working so hard at rebuilding their lives and are making the transition from homelessness into self-sufficiency."
Burglars entered through a locked window in the back and reportedly took bus passes, laundry coins, audio speakers, dress shoes from Payless Shoe Source, and a client's job-search interview outfit still wrapped in the bag, said Kunkel.
Family heirlooms, owned by one resident were also taken.
"My Nana left me her jewelry when she passed away," said 23-year-old Amanda Bolin. "That's all I had to remember her by, and whoever broke in took it. How do you take from women who have nothing and are trying to rebuild their lives?"
Material items aren't the only thing thieves took, they also stole a sense of security residents had.
"We come from an unsafe environment and finally get to a place where we can feel safe," said 32-year-old resident Crystal Rodriguez. "This brings back bad memories and puts us back into a place where we never want to be again."
Shelter administrators found the home in disarray, but also some fixtures damaged and a child's bed destroyed.
"We are all devastated at Time for Change Foundation by this event," said Kunkel. "We are living in times when the current economic climate isn't doing well, and the fact that charitable contributions are extremely low makes it very difficult for an organization like ours."
Donations can be sent to Time for Change Foundation, PO BOX 25040 San Bernardino, Calif., 92406 or visit their website at www.timeforchangefoundation.org.
Anyone with information is asked to call the San Bernardino police at 909-384-5615. ___