On February 17, 2013 thirty-five Burnaby families were displaced from their homes due to a fire that completely destroyed a four-storey apartment complex on Smith Ave.
This tragic event resulted in the loss of all personal belongings and, for some, the loss of their beloved pets. Fortunately no human lives were lost.
In the early morning hours, as they watched the fire ravage what had once been their home, many of the Smith Avenue residents came to realize they were suddenly homeless. A fire is one example of how becoming homeless can happen to anyone.
The immediate response to this tragedy by support agencies and the community at large highlighted the success of a collaborative approach for solutions to homelessness.
For working together to assist the Burnaby families were displaced from their homes as a result of this fire, the Burnaby Task force On Homelessness extends a sincere thank you to:
• City of Burnaby Emergency Support Services – emergency response, crisis intervention and coordination of emergency services
• Emergency Management BC – provincial funding for emergency support services: lodging, meals, clothing,incidentals
• BC Housing – short and long term housing solutions
• Red Cross – crisis intervention
• Salvation Army – recovery centre, crisis intervention, emotional support, donation coordination
• Progressive Housing Society – short and long term housing solutions
• Burnaby RCMP Victim Services – crisis intervention, emotional support
• Kathy Corrigan MLA Constituency Office – provincial identification replacement, liaison to provincial Ministries
• Kennedy Stewart, MP – federal identification replacement
• South Burnaby Neighborhood House – furniture delivery coordination
• Helping Families In Need – furniture donations collection, storage and distribution
• Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team – crisis intervention
• Cascade Heights Elementary – emotional and financial support
The Burnaby Task force On Homelessness also sends a heartfelt “Thank You” to:
- the Burnaby Board of Trade,
- Pods Moving and Storage,
- Metrotown Town Centre,
- West Coast Liquor Company,
- Scotia Bank Burnaby and UniverCity branches,
- Shia Ismaili Council for British Columbia,
- Burnaby District Student Advisory Council
and the countless citizens and businesses of Burnaby, the Lower Mainland and British Columbia who generously gave financial gifts and/or donated clothing, household items, or their services to assist the Smith Avenue residents in their time of need.