Taking action after Timmins shelter fire
Published Friday, October 26, 2018 6:46PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, November 1, 2018 4:21PM EDT
In the aftermath of the fire at a Timmins homeless shelter earlier this week, a total of 14 residents have been displaced are in need of some help.
The community is now stepping up after the fire that destroyed the Good Samaritan Inn left a gaping hole in the fight against homelessness in the east end of Timmins.
A group of people were inspired by the tragedy to give back.
“After the fire, we really wanted to make this happen. Not just talk about it, but to bring it to the streets and actually experience it with the people, you know, talk to the people, get to know them and help out as much as we can.” said Porcupine resident Shaunacy Gelineau.
Using Facebook, Gelineau, along with her fiancé and their friend Peter, began collecting donations of clothing, food and hygiene products to put into kits for the homeless in the city.
They've also assembled a team of volunteers to help them with their cause.
“The fire really kind of sparked the community. Not just our group, but the community itself, into taking action, donating, participating, you know, any way that everyone can.” said Gelineau.
As for the inn itself, work is under way to open a second shelter nearby in order to house the 14 people displaced by the fire, and likely many more with the cold settling in.
“The most important thing right now is that everybody needs a place. Let's get beyond these politics and try to get this place going as quick as possible and get these guys back to their lives in the south end.” said Don Lauay, The Good Samaritan Inn Homeless Shelter.
“For 16 years, I kept coming here 60-70 hours a week. And all of a sudden, I’ll never be in the building again. It's like I lost a part of myself.” said the shelter’s executive director, Ed Ligocki.
Ontario Fire Marshals have been on hand investigating the cause of the blaze since Wednesday. They say they've wrapped up their initial inspection, but it could be some time before an official report is released.
Timmins police say that it is not being treated as suspicious at this time.