'It's like being down and having somebody come and kick you'

SEATTLE - A heartless thief stole a disabled woman's moving van - just as she was about to rise out of homelessness to a better life.

The loss has devastated Bernida Simmons.

The stolen moving truck was parked outside Jubilee Women's Center - and it was filled with far more than belongings. It held a struggling homeless woman's future.

"It's all gone ... it's all gone," says Bernida, wiping her eyes.

She was about to move into her own apartment after years of homelessness. Her dear friend Mary Moody finished loading the truck for her Saturday.

Both are residents at the women's center, and both have health problems that make it hard to get around. Both were stunned when they discovered the moving truck missing this morning.

"I know it's just stuff, but, you know, it would have given me the opportunity to start my little business without the overhead of cost of the yarn," says Bernida.

More than $1,000 worth of top-quality yarn was in the stolen truck. Bernida was planning to craft it into beautiful things.

"I learned when I was about 10, 11 years old," she says.

But it was Mary who convinced Bernida that she could earn a living selling her pillows, scarves, gloves and hats.

"She's been crocheting since she was a little girl. She really didn't know how awesome she was," says Mary.

The dream, for now, is as empty as the driveway. The only clue, a muddy tire track, leads to nowhere.

"It's like being down and still having somebody just come and kick you," says Bernida.

The stolen truck is a 14-foot U-Haul with a graphic of a huge smiling spider on the side.

Police are on the case, and other residents of the shelter are out looking. But so far, the U-Haul van has not turned up.