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Ask Wellness Society working to find displaced Kengard Manor residents new homes.

"The Red Cross has designated the Ask Wellness Society the re-lodging manager. So, we're working closely with them to make sure folks are wrapped around with services."

Director of operations Stacy Wormell-Street says they are meeting with many of the 57-people left homeless following the apartment complex fire last week on Merritt Ave the next couple days, with the hope of finding them new homes somewhere in the region within the next two weeks.

"Ensuring they are supported, and making sure they have some where to live. We are letting people know though, that Merritt is basically at a 0% rental vacancy rate right now. So, we are looking to re-locate some of the people to Logan Lake and Kamloops until the housing market opens back up in Merritt."

Emergency Management BC has extended emergency funding for food and lodging for the displaced residents an additional two weeks, and the City of Merritt has informed them that they need to find new accommodations following that period.

Merritt and District Chamber of Commerce facilitating donations for the displaced residents of Kengard Manor; asking people to hold off on non-monetary items until next week.

"It's a need. And we're here to help bring it all together."

Manager Etelka Gillespie says more information is needed before they will start accepting clothing or furniture for the 57-people left homeless following the apartment complex fire last week on Merritt Ave.

"We need to get information on sizes, and needs. And, by vetting that information we will avoid having a whole bunch of stuff that isn't picked up, or used, and ends up just getting thrown away."

The Facebook page "Merritt Chamber of Commerce Kengard Manor Fund Page" will be providing updates on when the chamber will start collecting items at the building located on Voght St attached to Subway and Yaki Joe's.

Until then the chamber is accepting monetary donations thorough its website, www.merrittchamber.com.


ICBC is making more information available on online.

Transportation minister Todd Stone says for example in the aftermath of a crash and filing a claim people would be left to work the phones to determine where in the process they were.

"British Columbians will now be able to actually go online. The moment they file their claim their claim will appear online. They will be able to go online and check the status of all the particulars related to their claim. If they are getting a rental car what the next steps would be for them to take care of that. If it is a write off what the amount is that is being offered to them and other details."

Stone says people will also be able to go online and check wait times at driver licensing offices around the province to determine where and when its best to go.

He says the costs associated were all included in the systems upgrade ICBC recently introduced.

Nicola Valley and District Food Bank announcing the hiring of new General Manager.

Board Chair Rob Miller says Elissa Barron has been chosen from a process that involved nearly two dozen applicants.

Barron will assume the role as of April 11th.

Miller says the board also wishes to recognize the efforts of Marlene Jones, who provided operational guidance as GM for several years and was instrumental in many successes, before leaving to become the new coordinator at the CPO office back in January.

Merritt Youth and Family Resource Society finalizing sale of property for its new location.

Executive Director Lenora Fletcher says their new building will be constructed at 1914 Quilchena Ave.

"I wanted to stay downtown, for those who don't own transportation can still walk or use the bus to get here easily. So, it seems like an ideal spot."

The two-story modular building is expected to become operational by August.

"There were some difficulties coming to a price with the company constructing the building, so that's pushed us back about a month. So, we are now shooting for August 1st, to be open for business."

The new Merritt Youth and Family Resource Society building, which will only take a little over a month to construct, will allow for 28 additional spaces, and is being partially funded by the provincial government.

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