West Philadelphia health center hit by looters for second time in 4 months

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- For the second in four months, looters busted through Spectrum Community Health Center on 52nd and Haverford in West Philadelphia.

"It is challenging. We cannot continue to take hit after hit like this," CEO Veronica Hill-Milbourne said.

Caught on surveillance video, looters are seen inside the business following the shooting death of Walter Wallace Jr. The center was just getting back on its feet after looting back in June following the death of George Floyd. Now, it's left with yet another trail of destruction.

"We had to close our operations for a whole day, which is tragic for the patients that we serve. We are a vital lifeline for so many people," Hill-Milbourne said.

A lifeline that's needed more than ever during the pandemic with COVID-19 disproportionately hitting the Black community and cases on the rise.

"Quite frankly, it's more important now that testing occurs. We're seeing spikes up to 30% or more, so this pandemic is not, we are not turning the corner," Hill-Milbourne said.

A safe was broken, televisions were stolen and the Rite Choice Pharmacy was wiped out.

"It's very scary when you have all these medications flying around the city. It just causes a really big problem when it comes to the safety of the people in this community," Pharmacist Adam Accay said.

Spectrum Health is calling on the community for help so the looting doesn't happen again. It's been a resource for 53 years and even while boarded up, they are back to providing vital services for the whole family.

"If you see something, say something. If our center goes away so many people will be hurt," Hill-Milbourne said.
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