FORESTHILL BRIDGE (CBS13) — A community is shaken up after vandalism and hateful messages were left on the Foresthill Bridge in Auburn this weekend.
The vandalism comes about a month after a movement began to get people to post inspiring messages on the bridge to keep others from jumping. Most of the hateful graffiti has since been covered up.
"It's not gonna stop what we are trying to do, and it's not going to stop the message of hope, you know?" said Christian Couto.
Couto helps post inspirational messages from people across the region, country, and world, to help those struggling with suicidal thoughts. But this past weekend, hundreds of powerful notes were torn down and the guardrail was littered with hate-filled phrases, including phrases like "no one cares if you die".
"I was upset," Couto said.
The vandalism comes as a shock to people across the region who heard about the notes of inspiration going viral.
"They don't understand people are really suffering," said one man walking on the bridge.
"It's extremely sad someone would do that. Unfortunately it's coming from a place of hurt," said another woman who was shocked to hear about he vandalism.
The bridge has long been known as "suicide bridge" to many locals across Placer County.
"Notes of Hope" was born to change the stigma, and to spread positivity to anyone walking the bridge.
"I noticed them today with my kids, and we were just reading some of them as were like 'oh that's so cool,'" said Samer Ahwal, who was visiting from Roseville.
Since the notes were first posted on the bridge about a month ago, Couto says there haven't been any reported incidents of anyone jumping off. The notes are a reminder to inspire people to hold onto hope, especially during the hard times.
"We're gonna put up two notes for every note taken down and we cleaned up the graffiti. Hope prevails," Couto said.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline | 1-800-273-8255
A report has been filed with the Placer County Sheriff's Office.
Meanwhile, members of "Notes of Hope" say they'll be back out to post even more inspirational messages.
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