Street Angels Soup Shack finds new home close to Windsor downtown

Soup Shack has found a new home at 899 Wyandotte Street East. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)
Soup Shack has found a new home at 899 Wyandotte Street East. (Dale Molnar/CBC - image credit)

The Street Angels Soup Shack has found a new home after a month and a half of searching.

The the mobile soup kitchen will be moving to the Lazarus Outreach Centre in Windsor after they were forced to relocate in early February.

The Soup Shack — which was put together by Feeding Windsor and the Street Angels — provides food, clothing, hygiene products, sleeping bags, coats and helps people experiencing homelessness find warm places to stay, all from their little camper trailer.

"Our street friends are going hungry in the late evening hours," said Marnie Monrose of Street Angels when the shack first opened last November. "They usually go hungry and they don't have anything to eat after 5 p.m. We just want to send them to bed with a warm, full stomach."

The shack previously ran out of the parking lot at Throne of Grace Church, but the church asked the non-profit to leave.

"We were getting very very sad and feeling like we wouldn't be able to find a new home," said Merrisa Mills, Street Angels' director.

Soup Shack can meet people where they live

The organization continued to run out of its parent company's parking lot at 999 Drouillard Rd. — but now the shack is headed back into the downtown core.

Mills said the new location is close to the city's Homelessness and Housing Help Hub in the former Water World building, and is near Street Help Windsor, which will allow more access to services for those in need.

"We do work with each other in the way that our service starts when their service ends, so it's a continuation of services for clients," she said.

She said she is glad to be moving back downtown because putting the Soup Shack away from the people who need its services, weighed heavily on her.

"Everyone that comes and accesses the service ... they're filled with gratitude, they're very respectful and they're just want us to know how much they appreciate it."

New location provided by community church 

Mills said the Lazarus Outreach Centre is a ministry centre that was recently bought by Parkwood Gospel Church, which plans on moving into the centre in the future. The church offered the Soup Shack space in the parking lot, she said.

The Parkwood Gospel Church will eventually move into the Lazarus building, which Mills said is okay because Soup Shack is meant to be an outdoor service.

Mills said the Soup Shack has between 40 and 50 visitors a night and that the average visitor costs $5.