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Community comes together to help Somerset fire victims

<p>The victims of the recent fire on Somerset Street will receive financial help as the Somerset West Community Health Centre begins distributing funds this week.</p>




The victims of the recent fire on Somerset Street will receive financial help as the Somerset West Community Health Centre begins distributing funds this week.





The Somerset Street Fire Relief Fund collected more than $43,750 for the victims of the Aug. 16 fire.





The centre wants to be as equitable as possible in distributing the funds, but distribution will be on a case-by-case basis, said Jack McCarthy, executive director of the Somerset West Community Health Centre.





“We want to meet with people individually and be as practical as we can with our assistance, whether it’s for clothing, furnishings, housing, food or helping people get identification,” he said.





“We will work with individuals to assess their most pressing needs as quickly as possible.”





Tomorrow marks two weeks since an early morning fire destroyed three buildings at Somerset and Booth streets, displacing 31 people.





“I don’t know how they’re doing,” said McCarthy of the victims. “Some people are staying with friends, others are in emergency accommodation and some we simply don’t know.”





Although McCarthy said the centre has contact information for all the tenants, he said there may be others affected by the fire that are eligible for funds.





Although many donations were made through the fund set up at Scotiabank branches, people also brought donations to the centre.





“People were wonderful,” said McCarthy. “There’s a pretty generous community out there and people gave generously. Their generosity will provide substantial and practical support in meeting people’s needs.”





The relief fund is technically closed, donations are still being accepted at the centre, McCarthy said. Fire victims can contact the centre’s crisis intake worker at 613-238-8214, ext. 2240 to make an appointment.


 
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