Canadian Red Cross’s Adam Moreash, case worker (left), Jessica Pye, safety and well-being advisor, Jon Jackson, operations manager, Susan Shepherd, administration, Pratyush Dhawan, project officer with community partnership program, Roberta Jorimann, case worker and Sheila Jorhal, case worker were all members of the Williams Lake team working out of the office on Broadway Avenue North, which closed permanently on Friday, Nov. 29. (Monica Lamb-Yorski - Williams Lake Tribune)

Canadian Red Cross’s Adam Moreash, case worker (left), Jessica Pye, safety and well-being advisor, Jon Jackson, operations manager, Susan Shepherd, administration, Pratyush Dhawan, project officer with community partnership program, Roberta Jorimann, case worker and Sheila Jorhal, case worker were all members of the Williams Lake team working out of the office on Broadway Avenue North, which closed permanently on Friday, Nov. 29. (Monica Lamb-Yorski - Williams Lake Tribune)

Canadian Red Cross closes Williams Lake wildfire recovery office

Services, supports will continue

Canadian Red Cross has closed its office space in Williams Lake after having one in the city since the beginning of the 2017 wildfires in July 2017.

Elysia Dempsey, director of emergency management programs for B.C. and Yukon, said after operating from a temporary location in Boitanio Mall Canadian Red Cross then moved into a space on Broadway Avenue North which it held for just over one year.

“We are not leaving town and will still be here to support the community long-term,” Dempsey told the Tribune during an open house to mark the closing of the office space. “We just did not need this big office space anymore. We are still supporting a handful of clients and we still have more than 100 active community partnerships, specifically focused on mental health and disaster risk reduction.”

Several clients are still connected with a case worker.

The office was used as a central hub to provide recovery services to individuals and households and serving impacted communities, she noted.

“Housing repair and restructuring programs have mainly been run out of here. We’ve also been running community partnerships out of this program for a number of partnerships in the area.”

Read more: Wildfire recovery support services continue

Initially there were offices in Kamloops and 100 Mile House as well as Williams Lake and three outreach teams that were going out, mainly impacted communities impacted by the 2018 wildfires because of the vast geological spread.

“We needed to be mobile and meet in communities.”

More than 33,000 households were assisted with recovery needs, including from the very start with relief financial support people received when they were evacuated.

“In this office, the support has been more in depth to impacted households and people who had major damage to destroyed homes from the fires,” Dempsey said, confirming that some people have not rebuilt from the fires. “That could be because some people are not sure if they want to rebuild or do something different. Others are still working with an insurance agency.”

At the height there were upwards of 45 to 50 people working to support the operation and that has been reduced to a team of eight people.

“We are still here to support the community with a focus of capacity building. We want to ensure we are alongside to support the community in any future disasters.”

Read more: Red Cross to host disaster management info sessions in Cariboo



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society communications officer Brianna van de Wijngaard reflects on World Water Day March 22. (Photo submitted)
DOWN TO EARTH: World Water Day means something different for everyone

This year’s World Water Day theme was Valuing Water

Williams Lake Cycling Club president Shawn Lewis (from left), Jeremy Stoward of New Path Forestry, WLCC Boitanio Bike Park director Andrew Hutchinson accept a cheque from Williams Lake and District Credit Union investment specialist Abigail King. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake Cycling Club gets bike park donation to bolster upgrades, maintenance

Plans are to complete three rideable lines each year, he added

Forestry Ink columnist Jim Hilton. (File photo)
FOREST INK: Credit, COVID and climate crises facing the world

Concerning COVID, Mr. Carney feels we have had the proper response by showing solidarity

Columnist David Zirnhelt’s grandsons practice some fun roping on his granddaughter at the family ranch. (David ZIrnhelt photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
RANCH MUSINGS: Roping, is that an essential skill for a ranch hand?

We all know someone who has had a digit reducing accident while roping

School District board members discuss business at a regular board meeting prior to the pandemic. (Angie Mindus/Williams Lake Tribune file photo)
Ministry of Education gives special shout out to School District 27 at start of Education Week

District board and administration recognized for creating outdoor learning spaces

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read