$50,000 in initial financial support being provided to Woodman families

Since the tragic explosion and fire on Woodman Ave that displaced several families one week ago, the support from Londoners has been overwhelming. As individuals, businesses, and organizations, Londoners have been donating cash, goods, and services quickly and generously. We are so proud of our neighbours and fellow Londoners for the support that they continue to show for our community.

The families directly impacted by the explosion, especially those who are still displaced from their homes, need our help now and over the weeks and months to come. They also deserve peace and privacy during this difficult and disruptive time in their lives.

Yesterday, a group of community partners met to coordinate and streamline the process of distributing the donations of cash, goods and services that have come forward. This statement provides an update on this effort.

  • Families most impacted: immediate short-term financial assistance of $2000 will be provided this week to the families who have been most severely impacted and remain displaced from their homes. Each family is being supported by a designated neighbour volunteer, who has assembled a package of donated goods and services that meet the family’s immediate needs. This arrangement aims to respect privacy, build relationships, provide a single point of contact for accessing community supports, and ensure families feel supported as the healing process begins. Community organizations are also working together to ensure that the short and longer term housing needs of all families are being met.
  • Families evacuated: individuals and families who were evacuated from their homes on the evening of August 14 will be receiving $250 in cash support, to cover the immediate costs associated with the evacuation (replacing food, purchasing goods required in the first 24 hours). These families will also have access to the donated goods. We are asking individuals and families who were evacuated to complete this online formto share contact information, so that we can distribute support as quickly as possible. Door-to-door canvassing in the evacuated area will also be taking place next week in an effort to ensure that no one is missed.

Based on these allocations, approximately $50,000 from the London community is being distributed over the next week. The total amount of funds which have come forward is still being tallied, as funds have been collected in multiple places and across many organizations. A number of fundraisers are still taking place this week, and some funds have been pledged but not yet received. We request that all funds raised be channeled to the Woodman Families Fund account at Libro. Donating through this centralized fund ensures that all donations are tracked, and that we can fully account for how funds which have been so generously provided are put to use.

A process is currently being established where the most affected individuals and families can access more funding over the short, medium, and longer term. This funding will be distributed on a needs basis. More details on this process will be communicated as soon as possible.

Families are actively working with insurers to determine coverage and needs, and this takes time. In the unlikely event that more funds have been donated than are needed by the families most affected, the families together with community organizations will determine how the funds should be used to support other needs and have a positive community impact in Old East Village.

We thank Londoners for their generous support for the families affected by last week’s disaster. Individuals and organizations wishing to give are encouraged to continue to do so through the Woodman Families Fund at Libro. You can contribute to this fund by visiting any London Libro branch, or by donating online to Life*Spin through Canada Helps. Charitable receipts will be issued by Life*Spin.

All immediate needs for donated goods (food, clothing, furniture, etc.) have now been met thanks to the incredible response from the community. No further non-cash donations can be accepted at this time. Individuals wishing to donate goods are encouraged to consider giving to other organizations in the neighbourhood such as Mission Services or Life*Spin, where they can be distributed to others who are also in need.

Thank you to the London community for the remarkable generosity, support and love. If you have any questions, please contact woodmanfund@oevca.ca


Date: Wednesday August 21, 2019

Author: jen