Thieves broke in and stole from an adult living center this week, but couldn't stop the center's progress.
Okarche's Center of Family Love provides a nurturing environment for adults with developmental disabilities. Established in 1981, the center currently has almost 150 residents.
Residents and staff celebrated the center's 30th anniversary just this past Wednesday. The celebration was also for the center's two new living facilities, a nearly $5 million project to provide residents with a better environment.
"The whole basis for these homes is really to make it much more home-like than what they've had in the past," said David Blair, the center's assistant executive director.
Last weekend, just a few days before the anniversary celebration, someone broke into the vacant buildings and stole about $10,000 worth of new furniture from both living rooms. Leather couches, love seats, tables, and ottomans were taken. The thieves also made off with two 52-inch LED televisions from the living areas along with a smaller TV and two more recliners from resident rooms.
"It just really upsets me," Blair said. "That someone would wanna come in here and steal from people that can't help themselves."
The thieves left behind some muddy footprints and a trail of mud inside the buildings. Blair is hoping that police will be able to come up with some suspects soon.
The furniture has already been replaced, at the center's expense. They're dealing with their insurance company currently to figure out their options, but Blair said everything is being done to get the facilities ready for their new "owners."
"This is really allowing them to have a home that they can be proud of," Blair said.