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Detroit Nonprofit Still Needs Meal Delivery Van After Thief Crashed It


A Detroit charity known for serving meals to the homeless has had its van stolen — and it’s been damaged beyond repair.

Around 2:40 a.m. on Tuesday, July 21, a thief broke onto the Cass Community Social Services lot and stole their Chrysler minivan from a fenced-in area.

The nonprofit’s security footage showed the thief speeding away in the van after hot wiring it, even hitting a stop sign as he drove off.

But the next day, the van turned up totaled.

The van, which had around 250,000 miles on it, was used regularly to deliver meals to about 320 of the area’s homeless population. They serve around one million meals per year.

Rev. Faith Fowler, the executive director of the organization, said that she’s praying someone will donate a van to the charity.

“It doesn’t matter what year, what color, what make, model. If it runs, it’s the right vehicle,” she said.

On the group’s Facebook page, the charity noted that they had to pay $75 to identify the van and more to tow it or $250 to leave it where it was.

So far the organization hasn’t received a new van or set up any fundraisers, but they have put out the call for one on Facebook. In the meantime, the nonprofit’s staff members have all used their own vehicles to continue delivering meals, but none of them have vans.

However, the incident hasn’t stopped the Detroit charity from helping others.

Last week they paired up with Paul Mitchell School stylists to give haircuts and grooming to 250 homeless adults in Detroit. Those who took advantage of the event, hosted outside the charity’s activity center, also received free meals and health screenings.

In addition to helping the homeless, Cass Community Social Services also sells green products made from recycled materials.

Just as textiles can be salvaged 90% of the time and turned into clothing donations, the group uses tires illegally dumped in the City of Detroit and turns them into sandals known as Detroit Treads.

By making the sandals, which have been ordered by people in more than 45 states, the nonprofit is also able to provide formerly homeless people with jobs.

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