MILWAUKEE — For nearly 20 years Debbie Lassiter has helped victims of human trafficking rebuild their lives after trauma. But she never thought she'd be the one needing help to rebuild the place that's changed so many lives.
"We have never had anything like this happen," said Dr. Debbie Lassiter, the executive director of the Convergence Resource Center.
Police say the center was burglarized Thursday afternoon. Lassiter and her co-worker say they were inside when two people forced themselves inside the center, and destroyed thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
"They ripped the security com off the wall and then they broke out the glass and climbed through the window. They pretty much tore up the office. Our computers, a lot of the chairs, tables, everything is pretty much ruined," said Lassiter.
Lassiter says one of the people who broke in is a former employee and client, who they thought turned her life around.
"She's somebody that we've all grown to know and to love, and it really just broke my heart to see that this is the place we're in right now," said Sarah, a lead victims advocate at the center.
Now the organization is turning to the community for help.
"We use the TVs monitors to hold virtual classes. And our large TV in the other room there that they destroyed, that is used for us to be able to have support groups and meetings with clients that are not in the building," said Lassiter.
"We need to be here for the people that are coming in. We need to be here to support each other. We need to be here to stand strong against things like this," said Sarah.
And they want the person involved to know this:
"I am not angry with her, I feel sorry for her because now I know the road ahead of her is not the road that she wanted," said Lassiter.
If you would like to help the center rebuild, click here.