Firefighters battle the blaze at the Pacific Heights apartment complex in Campbell River (Photo supplied by: Michael Healy/Facebook)
The City of Campbell River is giving those displaced by the Pacific Heights fire a helping hand.
The April 8th fire destroyed the apartment complex on Dogwood Street, and left 92 tenants without a home.
Since then, they’ve been housed at the Coast Discovery Inn downtown.
At yesterday’s meeting, council voted unanimously to provide up to $15,600 to ensure that the fire victims can continue their stay at the hotel until the end of the month.
Mayor Andy Adams said the funding will buy tenants time to find a place to live.
“Understanding that the timeline for the temporary funding from BC Housing and the emergency services from the province was expiring, we felt it was critical for council to step in and bridge the accommodation until the end of the month, knowing that if there are any vacancies, they are going to happen at month’s end.”
Council will continue to lobby both the provincial and federal ministries for more funding, Adams said, adding, “because we know that this (accommodation) isn’t going to be easy to find, anytime soon.”
Adams said that the city is “extremely grateful” to all the local organizations that have stepped up to help the victims since the fire.
“The John Howard Society, the Campbell River Community Foundation, the Laichwiltach Family Life Society, the Sasamans Society, and many more have been so helpful and generous in working together,” the mayor added.
“These are families, and seniors, and children who have lost their homes and belongings and urgently need somewhere to live so they can begin to rebuild their own lives.”
At least 10 people have found long-term accommodations in four different homes but Adams said the city’s low vacancy rate and availability for suitable places to live are making it a challenge.
Adams said that while this is an extremely tough and challenging time, the provincial ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and minister Selina Robinson responded quickly to the city’s requests for help.
He was equally impressed by the generosity of total strangers who have donated everything from furniture to cash.
“This community just continues to amaze me,” Adams said.
City manager Deborah Sargent said finding the tenants a place to live is “first and foremost.”
She added, “We’re just so extremely grateful for all of the organizations and community members who are working together to help these families that have essentially not just lost their home but lost their belongings, as well.”
There are still ways you can still help the residents.
- If you can provide short-term paid rental accommodation (up to three months) for any of the displaced residents, contact the John Howard Society at 250-286-0611.
Financial contributions can be made through online donations:
To donate items contact the Laichwiltach Family Life Society at 250-286-3430 to arrange a drop-off.