Paula Green, a case worker and volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross, handing out cleaning and fire kits when evacuees were returning. File photo

Red Cross in the second phase of fire recovery and relief process

The Red Cross is now using a case-by-case approach for relief

  • Feb. 7, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Individuals, non-profits and local small businesses who were declined in the first round of applications for the Red Cross’ fire recovery programs may have a second chance, according to Cariboo Regional District chairperson Margo Wagner.

“There were some non-profits that were denied in the first round and they [Red Cross] have rejigged the application requirements and she [Kim Nemrava, Red Cross vice president for BC and Yukon] feels there are now some that would be eligible.”

The Red Cross met with district staff on Jan. 8 for a presentation regarding the aforementioned programs.

“They basically just gave us an update and they are now in the second phase of applications for non-profits,” said Wagner. “They are also looking at trying to do a little more with mental health as far as the impact on people suffering from the devastating fire season we had.”

Unlike the first phase where everyone who applied was given the same level of assistance, the second phase is now a case-by-case basis for individuals and families looking for fire relief.

“The first priority we have is focusing on individuals and families,” said Nemrava during a phone interview.

People can apply if they need support from food to help with rent if the fire and evacuations affected them.

People in need are encouraged to book an appointment by calling 1-800-863-6582.

Local businesses interested in the Support for Small Businesses program must have 50 or fewer employees, be financially vulnerable due to the fires and have a net income of less than $250,000.

An eligible business must also have restarted their operations or intend to and must have been in business before July 7, 2017.

The application period ends on April 6.

The maximum funding a business can receive is $18,500 and covers uninsured losses, minor repairs and occupation and/or training expenses.

During the first phase, all small businesses received $1,500 but it is now a case-by-case basis and requires the business to give more information on their situation to the Red Cross.

Non-profit organizations and First Nations people who depend on cultural expressions and ceremony for their livelihoods are also eligible for the Small Businesses program.

Interested parties can call apply by calling 1-855-999-3345 or online at redcross.ca/bcfires/smallbusiness. Those without Internet connections can pick up an application at any Community Futures office.

The Community Partnerships program funds projects started by non-profit organizations, registered charities, school boards, municipalities or indigenous organizations working towards the relief and recovery of the 2017 wildfires. The Red Cross will use $21.6 million to support successful applicants.

Criteria for the projects must directly support an affected community or a population/group and must follow the principles and humanitarian values of the Red Cross.

The organization will fund through five areas; emergency relief, community strengthening, safety and well being, Indigenous programming and disaster risk reduction.

To apply e-mail bc communitypartners@redcross.ca

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