CLEARWATER — Thieves on Thursday night stole more than $550 worth of gardening and lawn equipment from the nonprofit Homeless Emergency Project, hampering work on the therapeutic garden that children who live there grow to supply food to the program's kitchen, officials said.
HEP said Clearwater police are investigating who severed a metal lock and broke into a storage building near the homeless shelter's community garden on Engman Avenue.
Missing items include a weed whacker and battery-operated backpack garden sprayer. A fence prevented theft of a wheelbarrow, officials said.
The 3,000-square-foot garden is a gathering place for residents, officials said. In addition to helping to feed the hundreds of clients living on campus, officials reinvest proceeds from plants sold to local retailers and through HEP's thrift store into garden maintenance.
To help, contact Jackie Dryden at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 442-9041 ext. 110.