The Salvation Army of Tyler reported a theft of approximately 2400 linear feet of copper wire valued at $15,000 including the cost of corrections required to repair the damage incurred. The theft occurred sometime during the weekend of October 15th through 17th and was discovered Monday, October 18th when the workers returned to begin a new work week at the Catherine Booth Gardens construction site—scheduled to open in April of 2011. Catherine Booth Gardens at the corner of Old Henderson Highway and Golden Road (across from the existing William Booth Gardens Apartments) is a vision the staff and Advisory Board of The Salvation Army have had for nearly a decade. Similar to the William Booth Gardens Apartments, the Catherine Booth Gardens, a 72-unit building, will serve the low-income elderly of our community who are otherwise often out of housing options. In fact, the current waiting list for William Booth Gardens already exceeds the maximum capacity for the new planned complex. This fact highlights the drastic need for housing such as this in East Texas. Applications for Catherine Booth Gardens will be accepted beginning in January 2011. The Salvation Army in Tyler is determined to meet head-on the problem of the lack of safe, affordable housing in Tyler and the resulting financial and safety risks it poses to our elderly neighbors. Because of this determination, this theft is in the very least disheartening to those wanting so desperately to see this project completed.
Immediately upon discovering the theft, a Police report was filed and the damage was assessed. The wire stolen was the service entrance cable that runs from the entry panels to the individual unit panels on the first floor. The theft caused an immediate setback in the scheduled drywall installation as it will be delayed a week or so due to necessary repairs and inspections. Thankfully, there should be no setback in the overall completion of the project. This is fortunate since hundreds of low-income seniors are counting down the days until its completion. While this was not a direct financial loss to The Salvation Army in Tyler, it is difficult to endure these disheartening losses when the overall goal is to provide something necessary and good for those so often overlooked in the East Texas community. While it may be easy to assess the financial loss in this situation, the emotional loss and disappointment with the community member/s responsible for this crime is greater and more difficult to determine or to understand. As we are all members of this community we should all be working toward the same goal of providing for the less fortunate in an honest and honorable way. If you would like to show your support please visit www.salvationarmytyler.org to donate or call 903-592-4361 for more information on how you can help. Thank you for the wonderful support and generosity the Tyler community is always willing to provide and share. Without you The Salvation Army could not continue to provide hope to the hopeless in East Texas 365 days a year.