By Tori Mason

ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – Catalytic converter theft has become far too common. Now the impact of these crimes are reaching far beyond the vehicle owner.

In Arvada, it has hurt one of the most vulnerable groups in the community.

(credit: CBS)

BeyondHome Transitional Housing helps families overcome issues due to poverty and trauma. Their campus has 40 apartments, serving 51 adults and 110 children. BeyondHome’s van was forced out of commission after its catalytic converter was stolen.

“The kids have missed out on a lot. We go to Water World and museums. We’ve taken them to a nice restaurant and they learn how to order off the menu. The kinds of enrichment activities kids in extreme poverty don’t have access to,” said Karen Allen, Executive Director of BeyondHome.

Since catalytic converters are in short supply, the van sat in a garage awaiting repair for more than a month. No transportation meant kids missed out on many Summer Youth Program activities.

The cost to repair the van was more than its value.

“Since we use this van for our youth program, in order to save money, we don’t insure it during the entire course of the year,” said Allen. “Then only reason we have this van is because it was donated to us. We don’t have any other resources.”

CBS4’s Tori Mason interviews Karen Allen, Executive Director of BeyondHome (credit: CBS)

The thieves also targeted a mother’s vehicle on the BeyondHome campus.

“Not only does it affect her car, it’s also her way to get to work. This is a single mom who was really trying hard to be able to get to self sufficiency. She’s working ,she’s looking at schools. All of a sudden she has zero transportation,” said Allen.

Hands of The Carpenter provided a discounted price and BeyondHome was able to give the mother a down payment to buy a used vehicle.

“Unfortunately we need to take from our general fund, which means taking from program money for our families,” said Allen.

(credit: CBS)

BeyondHome started a fundraiser to raise $5,000 to cover the cost of repairs and other related expenses. For information on how to donate, visit: BeyondHomeOnline.org

Tori Mason