When a fire broke out in an apartment building on Second Avenue West on Oct. 18, several people were impacted and left without a home.
There were no injuries and all the tenants were able to get out of the building. Prince Rupert Fire Chief Dave Mckenzie said Emergency Social Services was called and they found housing and clothing for at least six people who were put out by the fire. But they were subsidized for only up to 72 hours.
“Emergency Social Services (ESS) is a provincially-mandated program administered by the city on the province’s behalf. ESS provides food, lodging, clothing and incidentals for the first 72 hours after an incident. When residents are displaced, the city works to ensure that they are referred to the appropriate service providers in a timely manner so that they receive an ongoing level of care,” said Veronika Stewart, the communications manager for the City of Prince Rupert in an email. “In Prince Rupert, the North Coast Transition Society is one of the major organizations that provides extended support after the first 72 hours. Their organization has two programs that are there to assist people who are in need of housing, including their Homelessness Prevention Program and their Housing Outreach Program. Residents who require additional support in the case of an emergency will be referred to these programs via the North Coast Transition Society.”
She added that the city will continue to advocate to receive more investments in affordable housing with the province.
The North Coast Transition Society confirmed Monday, Oct. 24 that all former residents of the apartment have found a place to stay with family or friends. The housing outreach coordinator is assisting those in temporary housing to find a more permanent solution.