Eviction will force Nanaimo’s homeless soup kitchen to close June 30

Eviction will force Nanaimo’s homeless soup kitchen to close June 30
WatchA soup kitchen that serves up to 160 of Nanaimo's homeless out of a downtown home's backyard each night is desperately searching for a new location as its eviction looms. As Skye Ryan reports, Tanya Hiltz and her husband now face homelessness themselves if they can't find a new place, fast.

Even as she faces eviction in just 11 days, and wiped tears from her eyes Tuesday, Tanya Hiltz was sorting bread bound for that night’s dinner for Nanaimo’s homeless.

Volunteers were cooking the meal at a nearby church.

“We’ve never missed a day feeding these people,” said Hiltz.

“So that’s what we’re battling over. We’re trying to go as far as we can. I’m fighting for myself and I’m fighting for Stone Soup at the same time,” said Hiltz.

As volunteers cooked the meal at a nearby church. Unwilling to waste the days they still have to feed people that they have left.

Sixty-five-year-old Hiltz and her husband started Stone Soup, a volunteer-run and community fundraised nightly meal program out of their Nicol Street home a year ago.

Hiltz said they were trying to address a need from the grassroots, their backyard.

“Doing what the city, the RCMP and VIHA and everybody else combined cannot really do,” said Hiltz’ neighbour Norm Abbey.

“And that’s to mitigate the serious and life-saving problems faced by homeless people.”

But it was done without the necessary permits and approvals.

“We started this project to help,” said Hiltz.

“Never thinking that we have a landlord that would put us out on the street.”

Now after losing their eviction battle Monday which was sparked when the city found their outside eating area wasn’t up to code, the couple is facing homelessness themselves.

They have a budget of just $1,000 but can’t find a place and their eviction is June 30.

“I just need help right now,” said Hiltz.

“That’s all we do, all we need is a one bedroom.”

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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