Sunday, Sep 23, 2018
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Burglars ransack child care center for low-income mothers

  • Mom-s-House-Burglary-1

    A broken door after the burglary at Mom's House, a Toledo day-care program for children of low-income mothers.

    Photos courtesy of Christina Rod

  • Mom-s-House-Burglary

    The cleared-out kitchen after the burglary at Mom's House, a Toledo day-care program for children of low-income mothers.

    Photos courtesy of Christina Rod

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A Toledo day-care program for children of low-income mothers was ransacked and burglarized, causing an estimated $10,000 in losses, staff there said Monday. 

Estimates for damage and stolen items continue to climb, said Christina Rodriguez, Mom’s House executive director. Among the stolen items are industrial kitchen appliances, computers and educational tablets, construction supplies stored during installation of a new roof, and about a month’s worth of food. 

“The list continues to grow. We’re a big place,” she said. 

A Toledo police report shows an employee there reported the break-in early Monday morning after arriving to work at 2505 Franklin Ave. Police continue to investigate and have made no arrests, said Lt. Kevan Toney, a department spokesman.

Mom’s House provides a variety of programs for single mothers pursing an education. Programs include free child care for children 6 weeks to 5 years, tutoring, and legal services. The program’s goal is to help break cycles of poverty and help parents attain educational and parenting success, Ms. Rodriguez said, adding that the news Monday threatened but did not stop that. 

“We tried to establish as much normalcy as possible for our team, our kids,” she said. “The back door has been replaced already. We have taken every measure for the safety of our families.”

Still, she said it is concerning in a neighborhood where they’ve felt at home for two decades and have not had a major incident. She noted that those responsible took a surprising array of items, including one of the children’s wagons, presumably to haul away the stolen goods. 

“It’s a big hit to us,” she said. “It’s a hard pill to swallow because we’re doing good for our community.”

She lauded the supportive response of the center’s board, its families, and police. 

“The safety and care for our staff, moms, and their kids are our first concern,” Mike Kruse, Mom’s House board chairman, said in a statement. “Daytime security and operations are not compromised, and the building will be secured by [Monday] evening. We are making the necessary adjustments to meet our mission.”

Mom’s House is seeking donations to replace lost equipment, which can be made at momshousetoledo.org.

Contact Lauren Lindstrom at llindstrom@theblade.com, 419-724-6154, or on Twitter @lelindstrom.

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