Members of the Salvation Army in Bridlington have vowed not to be beaten by the burglars after their premises were broken into four times in a month.
Envoy David Robinson said it is business as usual at the church, despite the heartbreak of the persistent attacks.
The church runs lunch clubs twice a week, operates a cafe three days a week and runs a regular ‘one stop’ session for the homeless, who are given donations of food, clothing and access to a support worker.
David said: “We are trying to get the message across that despite the break-ins, we are still open.
“People want us to be a welcoming and safe environment, and it still is.
“We won’t be deterred. We are here to care for and to serve the Bridlington community.
“Our volunteers work so hard. We just want people in need to come and tell us what they need, come and chat with us.”
David would not condemn the criminals who had targeted his premises, saying only: “For some people, times are desperate.”
The building in Wellington Road has been broken into four times in the last month.
On the first two occasions, electrical sound equipment was taken and on the most recent occasions, the thieves helped themselves to food.
David said the only consolation was that they had not made a mess, but most of the burglaries have been discovered by members of the congregation arriving for services on Sunday morning.
“Primarily, we are a church and we are motivated by a love of God to help those in need,” said David.
“But everybody is welcome here, we have people aged four to 90.”
He has been envoy in Bridlington for three years and is due to move to a church in Sheffield this summer.
Having lived all around Yorkshire, David said he believes Bridlington is a good town with a good community spirit and he has been touched by the public’s response to the recent crime spree.
“The public have been marvellous, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity and offers of help,” said David.
“We can’t thank people enough.
“Even now, people are still donating, which is great because we want everybody to know that we take security very seriously and we want them to be sure that we are looking after the clothing, food and monetary donations they have given.”
A new state-of-the-art intruder alarm has been installed and volunteers are also looking at installing other security measures to prevent further attacks.
All of the break-ins have been reported to Humberside Police. Witnesses or anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call 101 with information.