Chicago’s Ronald McDonald House had its doors smashed during rioting and looting that took place on Monday night while children were inside the home.
The facility provides a shelter and resources to families while a child receives treatment at local hospitals.
The Chicago location is close to Lurie Children’s Hospital.
‘We were very concerned there was a lot of activity right in front of the house, people making choices that could put them at risk and put our families at risk so the staff was frightened,’ said Lisa Mitchell, of Ronald McDonald House Charities to ABC11.
More than 30 families together with their sick children were inside along with the staff as they watched completely helplessly as everything unfolded outside.
‘They are already in a really, really difficult spot, and having this kind of additional stress and worry about getting to and from the hospital even though we are 5 blocks away because of safety concerns is just doubling the strain,’ Mitchell said.
Apart from the front doors, which had to be boarded up, no damage was caused to the inside of the house and no one was injured as residents inside the facility were placed on lockdown.
Chicago police are now looking to track down those responsible as the cleanup got underway on Tuesday.
On Monday night, looters were caught on camera shoving shopping bags full of stolen goods and equipment into their cars.
Some ATM machines were also damaged and broken into, along with cash registers that were stolen. At least one bank had also been broken into.
Videos of the vandalism showed huge crowds of people smashing their way into businesses and streaming out of the broken windows and doors with clothes and other merchandise. They loaded up vehicles, some moving slowly and deliberately, apparently not worried about being caught by police or being recorded by scores of cellphone cameras.
Vehicles drove away slowly, some leaving behind boxes of rocks that they had apparently brought to shatter the windows.
Bridges and expressways in downtown Chicago reopened on Tuesday after business owners and emergency workers headed back to the area after a night of violence and looting.
More than 100 people were arrested after vandals damaged businesses in the area which led to the entire neighborhood being placed on lockdown, even for those who live in the area.
Most of the trouble happened along the upscale Magnificent Mile section of the city, which is one of the most popular areas that tourists like to visit.
Stores miles from downtown were also ransacked, their parking lots littered with glass and boxes that once contained television sets and other electronics.
The civil unrest comes at the worst possible time as businesses struggle to get back on their feet after months of lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic followed by more looting earlier this summer during anti-racism and police brutality protests.