‘Unbelievable’: CHEK viewers generously help evicted Nanaimo woman

'Unbelievable': CHEK viewers generously help evicted Nanaimo woman

A dying woman evicted from her Nanaimo home says she had a good sleep last night thanks to an outpouring of generosity from CHEK News viewers.

She and her partner were desperate. They had nowhere to go, their power and heat had been turned off, but they were able to move into a motel room last night and they’ll be able to stay — thanks to you.

“I know. I can’t believe it. I mean all I had to do was sleep,” said Sharon Kowalchuk.

On Wednesday when the 66-year-old and her partner went to pay the rent, their landlord refused the money and told them they had two weeks to leave, despite having nowhere else to go.

The reason given was the medical care she needs while she is dying. There were complaints when she previously called an ambulance.

“There are no legal grounds for it. You know she’s palliative. She doesn’t have much longer to live,” said Shawn Nickerson, her support worker in an interview Thursday.

Wednesday night the landlord shut off the heat and power, taking away her ability refill her oxygen tanks at home.

But after broadcasting the story CHEK viewers rallied. They donated to a GoFundMe that so far has amounted to more than $24,000.

“Unbelievable. People really do care. They don’t like him being able to get away with this crap and he shouldn’t,” said Kowalchuk.

CHEK documented its interaction with the landlord Thursday. On Friday the landlord’s son called CHEK News concerned for his dad’s safety after his name and address were published on social media. He says his father suffers from a mental illness and since the story aired his father received a death threat over the phone and people wanting to confront him at his house. His son says both were reported to police.

The couple says they’re still being refused access to their belongings at their former home but Kawalchuk says she’s feeling grateful to those who have helped financially.

“I just want to thank you from my heart. It really means a lot. I couldn’t ask for more,” said Kowalchuk.

With her organs shutting down Kowalchuk plans to stay here until a palliative care bed opens up.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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