Thieves break into church’s homeless shelter; steal socks, TVs, hygiene kits

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ST. LOUIS – Thieves struck a north St. Louis church that helps the homeless stay warm in the winter late Thursday night. And now, many of the items it gave away to the poor were stolen.

Pastor Mike Robinson runs City Hope STL on Cook Avenue, where the homeless can sleep on a cot on cold nights.

The church was all set for another night of helping others; instead, it needs a helping hand after thieves struck.

“And in the downstairs area, we had some tools that were over here that we been using to renovate and remodel stuff,” Robinson said, pointing out one ransacked area. “Our television that was there—nice 42-inch television—was stolen. It was right there for them to watch and chill out and relax when they come through.”

The church had spent about $4,000 fixing the building to make it suitable for people to stay here and now this.

Thieves also stole 300 pairs of socks that the church gives away to the homeless. They stole hygiene kits, other televisions, and printers.

Pastor Robinson estimates it will cost some $3,500 to replace the stolen items and repair the damage to things like doors.

“I’m just dazed really because I can’t believe that so soon into the winter game that we experience something like this,” he said. “And then to steal some of those items is just mind-blowing. I can’t believe it. Someone would steal our supply of socks that we get to give everybody? It’s just unbelievable.”

The pastor says he needs the public’s help to recover.

“Food is a big thing so that we can supply the meals for everybody that comes through our doors,” he said.

Despite the losses, Pastor Robinson expects to open up for the homeless tonight even though he has less to give away to those in need.

The pastor says members will be staying there through the night to try and discourage future break-ins.

If you’d like to donate or reach out to Pastor Robinson, you can find them online at or on their Facebook page. The pastor says you can drop items by the facility at 4371 Cook Avenue.

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