Its been a surreal week. This is the McDougall Creek Wildfire that was creeping up behind our home. We currently are evacuated but our neighbourhood is safe and sound.
We want to say THANK YOU to all the first responders and firefighters for keeping us safe. There are firefighters and RCMP in need of housing.
Please reach out if you know or have anything available or coming available. Lets help these hero’s out.
This week will be a bit different email. It has been an eventful last 5 or 6 days, I hope you and your families are safe. An update on our family: we got evacuated from our West Kelowna home on Friday and are still evacuated. Thankfully our house is okay, but we are heavy hearted for our community and all the people who have lost their homes.
Maddie and I are here to help anyone that needs it so please don’t hesitate to reach out.
To hopefully increase our reach and help more people we have created a website www.westkelownafire.ca that is purely on volunteerism and aimed at connecting home owners of vacant properties, rooms, any kind of available housing, with the people that need housing.
This will be an unprecedented time on the rental market which already was stretched to the limits at the best of times. Literally overnight there was demand of short term accommodations for over 10,000 people. With the worst hopefully over, and as damage is assessed, the actual demand for mid to long term housing remains to be seen.
I have connected with a number of families that have lost their homes. One firefighter who I spoke with lost her home and she believes that around 13 other firefighters also have lost their homes. These firefighters don’t have the time to look for a rental, they are busy saving our community!
The mission of that website is to connect those that have housing with the people in need. Having connected to the community, it is evident there will be a varying of needs from short, mid term to long term.
The request from these firefighters is if you do have a home, vacation rental or even if you do winter away and leave the home vacant for a period of time. If you have the ability to help with the rental supply for whatever that period would be it would be appreciated. But I do caution to still take the normal tenancy processes and do your due diligence on the person and no one is expecting freebies. It is great to offer support, but you also need to protect your investment….. your home. I can get you into contact with a property manager as well to help you place people.
Even if someone’s house is still standing, from a credible source it could be upwards to 5+ weeks just to get services restored in some areas.
For the community, Maddie and I will help anyone you know that is in need. For homes that have been damaged, even just from the smoke there will be a lot of work that needs to happen. We do have connections with builders, architects and trades people that can assist you throughout the whole process of rebuilding.
If you or anyone you know is in need or just doesn’t know where to start, please reach out or direct anyone to the website westkelownafire.ca
We love you all!
Mark and Maddie