A nonprofit group that helps low-income clients and the homeless is seeking the public’s help after its property was badly vandalized for the third time in less than a year.
St. Vincent’s House is a social service organization affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. The organization provides services to low-income and homeless people on the island, including a food pantry, medical care and counseling.
Sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning, a meeting space known as the Tree House on the St. Vincent’s House property on Postoffice Street was vandalized, said Paula Stevens, the group’s operation manager.
Someone broke into the 800-square-foot building and broke windows and doors, Stevens said. They destroyed plumbing, allowing water to flow onto the floor. They dumped paint cans onto the floor and scrawled messages and obscene graffiti on walls and windows, Stevens said.
“St. Vincent’s House has been here for a number a years,” Stevens said. “We’ve never had any vandalism like this before.”
Repairing the damage will cost about $10,000, Stevens said. What’s worse, it’s the third time this year St. Vincent’s House has had to clean up after vandals. The meeting center was broken into for the first time in March, and then again in June, she said.
“It’s getting to the point beyond being destructive,” she said. “It’s getting out of hand.”
A local Boy Scout had started to repair the previous damage as part of an Eagle Scout project, she said. But that work has been wiped away by the most recent acts of vandalism, Stevens said.
The cost of the multiple cleanups will take away from the services St. Vincent’s House provides, Stevens said.
In March and June, St. Vincent’s House reported similar vandalism to the Galveston Police Department, Stevens said. Sunday’s damage was the most extensive of all.
No arrests have been made in the previous cases, and Stevens said the organization now hoped that someone has information about the vandalism and would share that information with police.
“We would like this person caught,” Stevens said. “It’s obviously someone very disturbed. We just need it to stop.”
A Galveston Police Department spokesman confirmed the vandalism had been reported. People with information about the vandalism should call the department at 409-765-3774.