BUFFALO, N.Y. — Resurrection Village, a part of the Lutheran Resurrection Church, was broken into last Sunday morning.

Though only a TV was stolen and a window was broken, the pastor of the church on Genesee Street, Gary Steeves knew more was crushed.

"Somebody kicked in the doorway where the summer program is happening, and smashed the door frame, and stole the TV off the wall," he said.

"No one got hurt. No one got shot, and a TV can be replaced, broken doors can be fixed. But shattered confidence and attitudes are so hard to repair and rebuild, and what this place is ... a place of hope."

He said the cost of damages added up to more than $1,000.

"Maybe $200 or $300 in the loss of the TV, and maybe around $1,000 in the damage and repair," he said. "It's also shaken a lot of folks because here is an organization that the whole neighborhood knows that's working to make a difference. It's not a whole lot of money, but every dollar counts when we are doing things with volunteers for free." 

For more than a century, the church and its congregation have helped the East Side community by working with the Western New York Food Pantry and Jericho Road Community Health Center. Almost all the services the Village offers is free, but everything comes with a cost.

"It is hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to make this happen in a neighborhood where nobody wants to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars," Steeves said.

While the break-in shook the congregation, Steeves said this isn't atypical for any area.

"Stuff happens everywhere. The story is bigger than someone doing something that is not right, but in the greater scheme of things no one got hurt," he said. 

He wants people to recognize the positive aspects of the community and disregard negative assumptions of the neighborhood.

"Stuff like what happened gives us a bad rap because then it becomes those people or that neighborhood," Steeves said. "As you see this is families, this is children, this is people working together. People don't see neighborhoods like mine here as being functional, yet as you see here we are."

To donate, people are asked to visit the church or its Facebook page.


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