Colours+ Youth Center vandalized in Fairview Park

The founders shared footage with 3News of the damage to the Colors+ Youth Center.

FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio — A local center for LGBTQ+ youth in northeast Ohio was vandalized overnight and officials believe it was a hate crime.

Kristen Pepera, executive director and co-founder of the nonprofit Colors+ Youth Centershared footage of the vandalism discovered on Friday morning with 3News.

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According to the Fairview Park Police Department, at 6:20 a.m. they responded to reports of vandalism and criminal damage.

Upon arrival, officers found racial graffiti spray-painted on the building and a brick thrown at the “BLM” flag displayed.

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According to an investigation, officials believe a suspect is involved. The police department is working to identify the person and process it as a hate crime.

“Nothing was damaged inside,” confirmed Pepera. “They smashed the windows and ran away. According to the police officer, the graffiti was the same as spray painted about Black Lives Matter during the graffiti incident two weeks ago when someone someone graffitied the word N on another building in Fairview Park.”

You can watch video of the incident below:

The Fairview Park Police Department is also investigating to see if the person is related to an earlier incident at the Fairview Mall.

“We knew it was a possibility with more visibility, but more than anything we want young people to know we’re not going anywhere,” Pepera said. “Black lives matter. Trans lives matter. LGBTQ+ lives matter. We will continue to fight for a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth and families.”

The founders spent time Friday morning cleaning up the vandalism that occurred.

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The Colors+ Youth Center is located in Fairview Park, off Lorain Road.

The organization is known for its work with the LGBTQ+ youth community. The center provides a community for LQBTQ+ youth by providing advocacy, support, education and celebration.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The above video previously aired on 3News on June 23, 2022.

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