EGADZ makes appeal to thieves who trashed outreach van during pandemic

The executive director of Saskatoon street outreach organization EGADZ has a simple message for the people who vandalized the group’s van.

“Stop,” Don Meikle said.

Someone smashed the windows of the EGADZ van on Wednesday night when it was parked outside the group’s office. Shards of glass were scattered across totes full of diapers.

They had to be tossed because no one wanted to run the risk of giving a baby a diaper with broken glass inside, Meikle said.

Meikle said EGADZ workers are under enough stress already,

“You know, we’re still trying to keep all of our kids safe during the pandemic. You have all the stress of that and making sure people are getting fed, making sure we have enough food. And just no respect,” he said.

He says there is no reason to break into the van and that it’s especially frustrating because the outreach van plays a very practical role when it comes to encouraging physical distancing.

“If we keep people fed, their supplies and needs being met, they’re not going to come out looking for it,” he said.

“People who are hungry or who don’t have hygiene products, who don’t have their needs met, are going to come out looking for it.”

The EGADZ van helps hundreds of people each week, he said.

The only silver lining is how the community responded, he said. A local business came forward on Thursday and offered to fix the van’s glass for free.

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