Soup kitchen victim of vandalism, again

Some of Hay River’s residents are outraged after the soup kitchen was broken into early Wednesday morning for the ninth time in a month.

Soup kitchen president Laura Rose said that she left the kitchen at 7:30 p.m. last Tuesday and returned the next morning to a shattered front window.

Upon closer inspection, it was discovered that a small amount of cash was stolen in addition to some food.  The front porch light was also ripped from the wall.

Warren Gibb was furious with the break-in and said that acts like these only take away from the service Rose and the other members are trying to provide.

“It takes away from us feeding people,” he said.

After the first break-ins that occurred nearly a month ago, Rose opted to spend $2,200 to put expended mesh on the windows to try discouraging further vandalism.

The front window had a small space left uncovered to allow Rose to open the window.

Both Rose and Gibb now believe that will have to be changed.

“I am just extremely upset,” said Gibb.

“We are funded by the good graces of the people. And for someone to do this is disgusting.”

“I can tell you that I am disgusted with our community right now.”

Gibb said that whether the culprit is an adult or child, they need to be held accountable and the vandalism needs to stop.

“It’s not even that we are upset that they took money or food,” said Gibb.

“Or even that they made a mess. It is all the damages that comes along with it.”

“It makes it harder for us to provide a service that isn’t funded.”

In the meantime, the front window will be replaced, along with the window that is currently boarded up in the bathroom – the first entry empty.

“We have to get repairs done and re-secure the building,” said Gibb.

“But we need to get the community to keep an eye on the building. If this (vandalism) continues, we may have to close down because we aren’t funded by a government agency.”

Rose said she is very disappointed with the recent string of break-ins, and is concerned for the future of the soup kitchen.

“I’m feeling really crappy. I am just so upset,” she said, pacing around the kitchen.

“It’s crazy the amount of money it is costing us. We were getting a lot of great donations and now there is nothing left. It is driving me nuts. I just don’t know what is going to happen.”