Chicago, IL —
Copper thieves have repetitively struck a West Side HIV/AIDS outreach center, directly impacting service to clients.
Over the last few months, thieves cut and stole electrical wiring and air conditioning coils from Vital Bridges Center on Chronic Care in the West Garfield Park neighborhood.
Vital Bridges, which provides food and nutrition services to clients with HIV and AIDS, has been left without electricity and air conditioning. The damage has impacted service to approximately 300 clients and the center has been operating with limited hours.
"The health of our clients is fragile and without these vital services to nourish them and help them stabilize their lives, they face serious challenges," Vital Bridges' Food & Nutrition manager Laura Ritland said in a released statement. "Vital Bridges' clients typically live on $800 or less a month, so buying fresh produce, dairy, meats and fish at many supermarkets is impossible. They rely on quality food and Vital Bridges is the primary source for many."
Vital Bridges estimates the total to be nearly $50,000. Since insurance only covers some of the costs needed for repair, the center is accepting donations. Call 773-271-9161.
Since its founding in 1988, Vital Bridges has provided more than 11 million meals, 650,000 nights of shelter and 250,000 hours of counseling to more than 10,000 clients, the release said.