Following a disaster, United Way is there to help. We are involved in local disaster recovery in a variety of ways – from coordinating community response to ensuring the most vulnerable have the help that they need. In collaboration with a network of community partners and government agencies, we are poised to act quickly when disaster does strike and continue to work in the long-term investing in mental health and wellness support to build resilience in affected communities.
BC Wildfire Recovery
On July 18th, 2017 United Way launched “United for BC Wildfire Recovery” – a campaign to raise funds for important social needs like finding permanent housing, food assistance, trauma and mental health supports, and rebuilding social infrastructure to meet community needs once the fires die down and residents return home. To learn more about our recovery efforts, click here.
Since this initial response, we have been hard at work in community through the hiring of a Community Wellness team of 5 staff located in 4 of the most affected areas post-disaster to support community wellness, and in partnership with Emergency Management BC and Disaster Psychosocial Services, bringing Psychosocial First Aid training to community members working on the front lines.
As fires again raged during the summer of 2018, the Community Wellness Team cooridinated anniversary events throughout all affected region and also aided in the 2018 fire response – coordinating donations to ESS reception centers once again.
In the fall of 2018, United Way launches into a Job Creation Partnership with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, giving skills in fire mitigation to community members who are currently unemployed due to the 2017 wildfires. Not only does this project arm participants with new skills to take into the workforce, but vulnerable community members are also helped as the team fire smarts homes throughout the region