Emergency Social Services Reception Centre in Vernon issued referrals worth $3.9 million

$3.9M issued through ESS

Close to $4 million was issued to evacuees through the Emergency Social Services Reception Centre in Vernon during the White Rock Lake wildfire.

The centre allocated 9,988 local hotel/motel rooms and issued 8,797 service vouchers (referrals) for evacuees to access meals or groceries, clothing, incidentals, gas and billeting.

The provincially funded referrals totalled $3.9 million.

The ESS opened on Aug. 1 to support wildfire evacuees.

During 40 days of continuous operation, the reception centre provided service to almost 3,000 evacuees from numerous jurisdictions, including Okanagan Indian Band, Lytton First Nation, the regional districts of North Okanagan, Central Okanagan, Thompson Nicola, Central Kootenay, the Township of Spallumcheen, Village of Lytton, and District of Logan Lake.

The activation was supported by more than 150 City of Vernon ESS volunteers and by staff from multiple divisions. Volunteers from the Canadian Red Cross, SPCA, Salvation Army and other non-government organizations also provided assistance.

The fire was first reported July 13 and would go on to burn more than 83,000 hectares and destroy dozens of homes.

The fire stretched from the Okanagan to Monte Lake and forced the evacuation of thousands of people.

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