WATCH: A Nanaimo organization that serves an evening meal to close to 160 people a day is in jeopardy. The operators of Stone Soup have been given an eviction notice. Kendall Hanson tells us why the city is demanding that they vacate the premises.
The sign for Stone Soup is up again but its problems with the city have not gone away.
The soup kitchen which has fed hundreds in south Nanaimo over the past year may soon be forced to close.
“Yeah, I got an eviction notice. [I] have to be out by April 30. We’re trying to work that one out,” said Tanya Hiltz, a tenant and organizer of Stone Soup.
The City of Nanaimo says it received a complaint about the structure where the soup kitchen serves food.
The city says Stone Soup did not get a building permit and needs to tear the structure down.
Part of the structure was removed last month but the city says they haven’t gone far enough.
On Tuesday, there was still a sink, dishwasher, refrigerator, and flooring.
“Any service should be provided in an area that’s properly zoned with appropriate structures that meet city bylaws,” said Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog. “There cannot be exceptions no matter how hard your heart may break for whomever. We expect the same compliance with bylaws.”
The property’s owner says, even though he supports helping those less fortunate, he has no other option but to evict Stone Soup if the outstanding issues persist.
“I want to give all the chances possible for my tenants to be able to work it out. Either convince the city to back off or the tenants can deal with it,” said Paul Manhas, their landlord.
He says he could be stuck with a big bill if the city’s enforcement officers pull rest of the structure down.
But those at Stone Soup are showing no signs of making any more changes.
“I think if the city backs off and gives us a clearance we can stay,” said Hiltz.
They’re planning a protest to city hall later this week.