UPDATE — A van stolen last week from the Arvada nonprofit Hope House Colorado, which helps teen moms, has been found, the group said Monday.
ARVADA, Colo. — A nonprofit helping teen moms succeed is turning to the public to help track down a van stolen from their parking lot.
Lisa Steven, the founder and executive director of Hope House Colorado, says a man broke in Saturday morning and stole two iPads, a laptop, and the keys to two of their vans.
The security alarm went off, but by the time Arvada Police arrived, it was too late. When staff noticed the van keys were missing, they parked a car behind the vans to help prevent anyone from stealing them, but they say it didn’t stop the crook. Steven said the man returned around 8 p.m. and drove a van over the landscape and took off.
“I was just mad, I was shocked, and I was angry; how could somebody take a van, a vital transportation tool from our moms who are already struggling, especially during the pandemic?” Steven said.
The vans are used for field trips, to pick up donations, and to drive moms around for essential needs. The moms named one van Miles and the other Rocky. Miles was the van stolen on Saturday.
Steven said their resources are stretched as they work to meet a greater demand for resources during the pandemic.
“Last year, we had 165% increase in the number of counseling sessions that we provided,” Steven said.
So far this year, the organization has helped 235 moms. The nonprofit helps teen moms navigate life and become self-sufficient through educational programs and personal growth classes.
“We work with teen moms that have lived in very difficult situations, often times generational poverty, dealing with domestic violence, addictions in their homes, and sometimes homelessness,” Steven said.
The van is covered by insurance, but it’s unclear how much the organization will be reimbursed.
“Buying a new van just isn’t in the budget,” Steven said. “All of our extra money is going towards extra counseling and extra therapy for our kiddos.”
The stolen van is purple with logos reading “Hope House.”
A sign outside of the nonprofit reads, “Whoever stole our van, please return ASAP! Our teen moms need access to transportation.”
Anyone who spots the missing van is asked to contact the Arvada Police Department.
Steven is also asking anyone who can, to pray for their teen moms and donate to their cause. To make a contribution, click here.