After more than two years of uncertainty, it looked like Laura McIntyre and her three kids would finally have a safe and permanent place to live.
The community banded together and raised more than $20,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to help her purchase a new RV after her old one became uninhabitable as it unexpectedly started falling apart.
Just a few days after getting her family’s new home setup, disaster struck in more than one way.
“We got the new trailer delivered [on Jan. 10] … I woke up the morning of Jan. 12 and felt like I had been hit by a bus,” said McIntyre, noting she tested positive for COVID-19 later that day. “Thursday night I went to bed around 11 p.m. and just after midnight my dog, who never barks, starts barking and my oldest son started yelling about a fire. I jumped up out of bed, and our electrical panel had gone up in flames, right in front of the door and the place was filling up with smoke.”
While she managed to get the fire out and save the rest of the trailer, McIntyre said because she was nearly bed-ridden with COVID she had to put off completing the insurance process for the new trailer until she had recovered, leaving her without any coverage for the fire damages.
Since the fire, she and her kids have been staying in a hotel room that was donated to her, but that stay will soon end. With a repair timeline and cost for the trailer yet to be determined, she said they will soon be living out of her pickup truck unless they can find another option.
Already on priority waitlists for emergency housing and with affordable rentals nearly impossible to find, McIntyre said she hopes the support will continue to roll in on the GoFundMe campaign – which has raised more than $32,000, including the $18,000 already spent on the replacement trailer – but more importantly she hopes someone will reach out with a place to live.
“We desperately need an affordable three- to four-bedroom rental, or we need a piece of land that has power, water, and sewer hookups if and when we can get the trailer repaired,” she said. “Right now, we are calling on BC Housing, local co-ops, and landlords to please find a space for us.”
While McIntyre said she appreciates offers to donate items such as clothing or bedding, right now they are not the best way to support her and her family as they have limited storage space. Cash donations to gofundme.com/f/help-lauras-family-get-a-new-home-for-christmas and housing offers or tips emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org are the best way to help out at this time.