Kicker – December ’23
It has been a very busy two weeks for the volunteers at the North Shuswap Disaster Recovery Society since the November issue of the kicker hit the stands.
Our goal: help residents return to the North Shuswap. The focus is on those needing power/water/sanitation to continue to live on their properties, repairing aspects of fire damaged property, those who lost tools of the trade or those with no accommodation this winter.
In two weeks, the Society received 6 applications that are in the final stages of the approval process.
We visited people where they live (or used to live). The devastation is tremendous, and sobering. It is heartening to hear the drive to ‘get on with our lives’. Many have nothing, are making do with nothing, and need a little bit to get started. They are very thankful to the people of the North Shuswap who have been very generous, especially the early kindness of St. David’s thrift store, friends, family and various businesses in the North Shuswap that are helping out.
The most common request so far: power poles to connect to a trailer while they rebuild their homestead. Other requests are lumber, windows, storage facilities for personal effects, tools of trade so enable people to get back to work and/or rebuild their homes.
Every family is different, yet all have expressed their vision of the future, one step at a time. Applicant’s plans are very pragmatic and we are tailoring the assistance to those needs
We are collaborating with the Mennonite Disaster Services (MDS) who build homes for those with no insurance or who are severely underinsured. MDS offer a couple of floor plans and build move-in-ready homes for those accepted to their program. MDS teams supply the labour and the applicants provide all the materials. MDS has met with some in the North Shuswap to verify needs and begin preliminary planning. In a perfect world, building occurs in the April to October time frame.
CSRD Emergency Services and the Disaster Recovery Team are working to provide temporary shelters until the spring for other displaced residents. We are participating in this to see how best to play a part bringing people back home.
As you can see, the Society one only group trying to help. We applaud every single person and organization who are doing what they can for their less fortunate neighbours. Thank you all – you are the true heroes.
The North Shuswap Disaster Recovery Society is funded by the Shuswap Community Foundation who collected donations from individuals specifically for the fire disaster. If you would like to help bring people home, please contribute to the North Shuswap disaster relief effort at http://shuswapfoundation.ca/#donate
If you need assistance for your home, please visit the website at nsdisasterrelief.ca or send an email to info@ nsdisasterrelief.ca