‘We’re going to keep going;’ Local ministry to forge ahead despite recent vandalism to facility

HARRISON TWP. — A group that helps the homeless, hungry and recovering drug addicts says it’s cleaning up tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage that a vandal left behind.

Pastor Joel Burton, of Simple Street Ministry, said his group is all about love in the Miami Valley, but someone trashed the building the ministry uses for meetings, services and classes. Its also the building that they’re said to be putting a food pantry in as well.

Burton said the first incident happened Thursday night into Friday.

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“Just made a general mess of everything,” he told News Center 7′s John Bedell.

The vandal smashed the front door with a brick and spray painted over all kinds of stuff inside.

Then on Tuesday morning, another incident of vandalism was found and Burton said it was “way worse than what it was last week.”

He described that television and sound equipment had been smashed and both bathrooms were flooded due to damage done. Screens were also ripped off of windows and WIFI and cable lines had been cut.

“The mobile baptistry unit that we pulled around, the tires have been deflated,” Burton described. “The brake lines have been cut on that, as well. I mean, geez, last year we baptized 175 people in that tank.”

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Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the vandalism, but haven’t made any arrests. A person was caught on video walking around the building around midnight Tuesday, but its unknown if they’re connected to the vandalism.

Burton called the damage “disheartening,” but said they aren’t about to give up on their ministry.

“We’re going to keep going. We’re not about throwing in a towel or cowering away from this. We just got to take the hits as they come and keep going,” he said.

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