Bus used by homeless outreach group in Milwaukee destroyed by fire

MILWAUKEE — A bus used by a Milwaukee homeless outreach organization was destroyed by fire, authorities said.

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The Street Angels, which has two buses to distribute food, clothes and other resources to homeless people in the Milwaukee area, was set on fire at about 10:30 p.m. CST, Vicky Cordani, the organization’s vice president, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“We lost everything,” Cordani told the newspaper.

Street Angels shared photos on Facebook on Friday, WTMJ-TV reported.

“I was really hoping it was a lie, but then we actually saw video,” Street Angels executive co-director Eva Welch told the television station.

Street Angels uses two buses to distribute the resources throughout Milwaukee County three days a week, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Cordani and Shelly Sarasin, co-founder and co-director of Street Angels, said the loss of the bus is especially devastating since it was paid for by the community, the newspaper reported. The bus was valued at $50,000.

“To see it gone, it’s heartbreaking,” Sarasin told the Journal Sentinel.

Frank Stewart, a resident who said he has been helped by the Street Angels “for years,” told WTMJ he was heartbroken when he heard about the bus.

“Someone burned it down and I thought, ‘Man, that’s really messed up,’” Stewart told the television station.

The group plans to continue its outreach efforts.

“We have people that are depending on us to eat and stay warm, so that’s vital,” Welch told WTMJ. “We started in a minivan, we’ll finish in a minivan if we have to.”

The organization posted a message of thanks Saturday on Facebook, as community members offered support.

“We’re not going to stop,” Sarasin told the Journal Sentinel. “We’ve made a commitment to our homeless community that we show up regardless.”