Nov 12, 2004 – While many Virgin Islanders are gearing up to help the homeless next week, someone else decided to trash a facility that already does help.(See "St. Croix Organizations Focus On Helping Homeless").
Michael Akin, executive director for Catholic Services of Virgin Islands, called it ironic that Catholic Services' soup kitchen was broken into Thursday night, just a couple of days before "National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week" was to begin.
Catholic Charities offers homeless people lunch five days a week at the King Street building in Christiansted. However, no lunch could be offered Friday as the staff spent the day cleaning up and repairing damage in the building.
Akin said, "They ransacked the place. It was sophisticated, the way they got in: They cut the line to the security system. But there was nothing sophisticated about what they did after they were in."
The thieves took a VCR but left a television. According to Akin, they also took "pots and pans and food." Akin emphasized there is never any cash in the building.
He said the staff was "very demoralized" by the incident. He said this was the second time the building was broken into within the year.
Besides a meal, the building offers a place for the homeless to take a shower. Catholic Charities also maintains a clothing bank there of donated clothing that can be given to the homeless.
Akin estimated that between 30 to 40 homeless are served at the building every day.
People who want to help the soup kitchen rebuild can call Catholic Charities at 773-0132 on St. Croix or 777-8518 on St. Thomas.
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