The fire Monday evening destroyed eight Newfoundland and Labrador Housing units, permanently displacing 20 people. Many more have been temporarily displaced by smoke and water damage.
“And so now we have the aftermath,” said Sherry Gambin-Walsh, the minister responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corp.
Gambin-Walsh issued a heartfelt thank you to the Froude Avenue Community Centre and the nearby St. John’s Status of Women Council, operating Marguerite’s Place, as well as everyone from the Canadian Red Cross, city and community who have helped in the response to date.
Government staff are assigned to each of the individuals and families displaced, to help them meet their ongoing needs.
But looking to the future, she said, three families or individuals have requirements for a fully accessible residence. In one case, their home was damaged by smoke and is set for restoration. A potential new home has been identified in another case. But there remains one case where the hunt is still on for a more-permanent housing option.
“The client, the individual affected, will remain in the temporary housing and we will see their needs are met (there) until we can find permanent housing,” Gambin-Walsh said, acknowledging she is unsure of exactly when that might be, given the limited availability of accessible housing in the area.
Other people displaced should have the chance to settle into a new location ranging from within the week to three weeks to start, she said.
Meanwhile, donations of clothes for displaced residents have been pouring in. MHA Gerry Rogers, calling from the area community centre Thursday evening, said the clothing is appreciated, but no more is needed.
“It’s just overflowing (with clothes) here,” she told The Telegram.
She said money and gift card donations would be better for support at this time.
With files from Rosie Mullaley