Woodman Avenue Family Fund –An Update One Year On

LONDON, ON – Following the Woodman Avenue explosion on August 14, 2019 community partners, volunteers, and residents in Old East Village have been working to support families affected by this event.

In all, over $200,000 was raised and distributed to more than 100 households, some of whom were displaced for lengthy periods of time (a few households remain displaced), others for a few nights. This is a testament to the generosity of Londoners, whose willingness to give at a time of unexpected and intense need has helped Old East Village residents directly impacted by the Woodman Avenue explosion begin the long and often challenging process of rebuilding and recovery.

Old East Village Community Association and LIFE*SPIN, who are overseeing the Woodman Families Fund, was and remains dedicated to ensuring that families’ privacy is respected as they continue to recover from this traumatic event.

The information below provides a summary and timeline of funds distribution:

Initial Distribution

August 2019

Category 1: Short-term financial assistance of $2000 was provided immediately following the incident to the residents who were most severely impacted and displaced from their homes for an extended period of time.

Category 2: Individuals and families who were evacuated from their homes on the evening of August 14 were offered $250 in cash support, to cover the immediate costs associated with the evacuation (replacing food, purchasing goods required in the first 24 hours). Some families donated this support back, desiring it to go to those most in need.

Autumn 2019 Update

The OEVCA distributed$160,000 to the residents most impacted. After meeting with these residents, it was decided through consensus to distribute the funds via a formula which took household composition into account and respected the privacy of each household with regards to their specific needs.

Spring/Summer 2020

We are in the final stage of disbursements of remaining funds to those households most affected using a formula that takes into account household composition. In addition, we received applications for funds from residents that have also suffered damages and loss but were not identified as Category 1 households. These funds have been disbursed.

OEVCA wishes to extend profound gratitude to the remarkable generosity of donors whose outpouring of support and love have helped their fellow Londoners through this difficult time. To all the volunteers and neighbours who have and continue to extend a hand during this recovery process: thank you. Your kindness is a reminder of what community looks like, when put into action. We also wish to extend our gratitude to LIFE*SPIN, Libro Credit Union and the London Community Foundation for lending their support and expertise to our community with this endeavor.

“Recovery is ongoing and individual, but compassion is a universal expression of community,” says Meg Pirie, OEVCA Board member.

On behalf of the Old East Village Community Association and LIFE*SPIN, we wish to extend our gratitude to community members who found ways to give in a variety of denominations and goods; first responders who put others’ safety before their own; and community partners who assisted through insight, expertise and time throughout this disbursement process.


Date: Wednesday August 5, 2020

Author: jen