The Salvation Army Centre of Hope relocates over 25 of their clients after fire
LONDON, ON -- The Salvation Army Centre of Hope has been working with the city to relocate over 25 of their clients into hotel rooms after emergency crews were called to a fire on March 17.
London Fire Department say the fire damaged the third floor wing, making the rooms inhabitable for clients.
Jon DeActis, Executive Director at the Centre of Hope say that nine were displaced because of the fire,
"Then we had 18 folks who are in the building that we displaced for being vulnerable to the pandemic."
DeActis says those individuals who are considered more vulnerable due to age and health concerns will be in hotels for one to three months, depending on how the coronavirus progresses.
He also told CTV News that cleaning crews have been hired to make the third floor safe for the fire victims who have been relocated. DeActis is hoping to have them back at the centre by later this week.
Abe Oudshoorn, current professor at Western and past chair at London Homeless Coalition says London is ahead of the curve.
"This is a population that is often overlooked all times of the year," Oudshoorn said.
DeActis says the Centre of Hope will still be providing those relocated into hotels with three meals a day.
"We’re preparing the meals for the hotel folks and we are sending them over from here. We are making them and then the city actually has volunteers who are picking them up and taking them."
Dan, a client at the centre says he doesn’t mind not being relocated.
"The community around here really rocks. It’s a big family situation around here. As much as it looks a little messy and all that, when times are tough, we really pull together."
The Center of Hope posted on their Facebook page asking the public for disposable take out containers to keep the 64 meals made daily warm during delivery.
Shelby’s Food Express owner, Yazan El-Shalabi was one person to respond.
"This is the perfect time to actually step out and try to support the people in need out there because they are probably suffering right now," El-Shalabi said.
The Centre of Hope is asking any restaurants willing to donate to send help their way.