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2012-10-04 at NOON

Disaster Relief Committee postpones fundraising deadline

By Leith Dunick,
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Knowing they won’t be able to start making payments for several more months, the head of the Thunder Bay and District Disaster Relief Committee says they’re extending the slogging fundraising deadline until Jan. 13, 2013.

DRC co-chair Wayne Fletcher said more time will be needed to process and vet up to 1,000 claims expected to roll in between now and the end of the month deadline to file. Thus it made no sense to stop collecting donations, which will be matched 2-for-1 by the province.

The fundraising total as of Thursday was $1.08 million, well short of their stated $5-million goal. That's about $12,000 more than they'd collected a week ago. 

“We’ll continue fundraising until the end of January so we can generate more money to get more money out of the province so we can actually do a better job at meeting the needs of individuals,” Fletcher said.

With just 100 forms submitted to date, Fletcher said it quickly became apparent their timeframe to distribute claimants’ money was a bit too aggressive.

“We realized we’re not going to be able to process these claims quick enough, so we figured why not raise more money,” he said.
They also appear to have underestimated the amount of time it takes to process a claim.

“We had a group look at about 20 of them and they figured that it’s hours per claim to go over things,” Fletcher said. “And then those are the ones that are fairly straightforward. The ones that we’re going to have to use the adjudicators, that will even take longer.
“If we’re looking at potentially up to maybe 1,000 claims, at least 700, that’s going to take a long time to go through that.”

Only residents affected by the May 28 flood and sewage back-up disaster that struck Thunder Bay who weren’t adequately covered by insurance, had no insurance or could not get insurance because of where they lived, are eligible to claim.

City officials have estimated it will cost between $15 million and $20 million to repair the damage to homes, mostly in the city’s East End and in Northwood.

Payouts will be based on the total claim amount, with successful getting a claimants getting a percentage of their approved claim that reflects the city’s fundraising totals as matched to the $5-million goal.

“We have to make sure it’s fair and equitable and we have to make sure they’re legitimate claims,” Fletcher said.

The deadline to file a long-form claim has not changed and was set under the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program.

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We've improved our comment system.
dontlistentome says:
This might not be a popular sentiment, but other fundraising campaigns stick to a 'window of opportunitiy' and that's that. Realistically, the DRC's extention will do nothing but dillute the efforts of every Christmas related fundraising campaign. You might say "so what then, who care?" let them campaign forever if they want, but it is what it does to a givers mentality of giving that is damaging. Those that give get frustrated and feel excessively bombarded with asks already. The DRC should realize that those that wanted to give, have given. If you really want to help your community, there are many amazing ways to do so, many of which will help flood victims as well.
10/4/2012 1:05:31 PM
nvjgu says:
They have to be embarrassed panhandling the public for fund's.
10/4/2012 1:23:51 PM
nvjgu says:
Tell regen med to take a hike, theres 50k a month right there.
10/4/2012 1:29:50 PM
wayne says:
The DRC could extend the deadline for fundraising by a year and still not reach the required $5 million goal. On August 9th the DRC reported that they had 'raised' a total of $810k and that the Nov. 30th goal of $5M would require an average of $37k/day.

Two months and a mere $270k increase later, they have extended the deadline. The new daily average required between now and January 13th is approx. $39k (would have been $69k with original deadline).

400+ advance claim forms were received by the deadline in July. Yet three months later only 100 or so long claim forms have been received. Why the procrastination?

On September 27th it was reported that 455 registered with the Safe Home Program. Of that number, 175 required furnace repairs or replacements. 80% were completed, with another 15% to be completed that week. The remaining 5% (8 or 9 homes) to be completed shortly thereafter. I assume that means the issue of heat during the Fall/Winter is no longer a concern.
10/4/2012 2:26:42 PM
kpo says:
The fact that they raised that much money in this city in 4 months is pretty astonishing. Fundraising is never an easy task.

In regard to your question about why so little claim forms have been turned in probably has more to do with waiting to get estimates and/or work done in this city rather than procrastination.

From my understanding, if you filed a claim form in July for the emergency funding you must complete a long form as well. And if memory serves correct the majority of the forms filed in July seemed to come in at the last minute. I suspect that this will happen here as well especially when flood victims have to wait so long just to learn how much damage they sustained and for some, if their insurance will even cover it.
10/4/2012 6:37:46 PM
CM Punk says:
This whole relief fund smells disaster in itself.
Fletch sure does not have a sure expression on his face.
But come January, people will be reeling from their credit card bills after their over spending during xmas time.
No matter how long you extend this, the wound is getting deeper and deeper but our pockets won't.
10/4/2012 3:25:38 PM
keep it real says:
This is a sad reality, there are a lot of people in this city that just don't have the money to spare. The provincial matching is a load of crap, prople need heat and hot water, homes are damaged and need repair.
I was/am insured but am still waiting for a decision on coverage and or possible limitations. For now no heat, no hot water, no help from insurance and from the number of people I have talked with this is pretty common if you are insured with one company in particular.
While myself and many others are waiting for insurance to do something the deasdline will pass and I'm sure from the way things have been handled so far by my insurance company I might get a furnace for christmas.
So what are my options?
wait and hope things don't freeze?
buy my own furnace and hot water tank then hope to be reimbursed?
Sue the insurance company?
sue the city on my own?
join class action joke?
10/4/2012 4:13:32 PM
jimmyboy says:
Extending any fundraising set deadline is an openly admitting someone did not do the math and set an achievable goal from the get go...which in turn equals a complete failure...and does not bode well with John Q Public unfortunately.!
10/4/2012 6:50:12 PM
sky high says:
As soon as I heard about the flood I felt horrible and donated generously. Then came the lawyers and the lawsuit, and that is when the financial support went right down from everyone, including myself. Withdraw that lawsuit and the aid will flow again. The flood victims became victims of the lawyers as soon as they signed on to this ridiculous lawsuit against the taxpayers of Thunder Bay
10/4/2012 7:46:01 PM
brooky says:
My opinion too. Why should I donate more than I already have, when a huge lawsuit is guaranteeing victory? Ask the lawyers when the money is coming in. Not the public. Not another nickel from me. Thanks.
10/4/2012 11:06:27 PM
YQTite says:
Ummm there are 6 people involved in the lawsuit. Approximately 10,000 homes had some sort of damage, with about 1000 of those people looking to file claims. In my opinion, 6 people who are fooled into believing this is a good thing is hardly a reason to not donate. I'm focused on the poor senior citizens who have to decide whether to eat or pay a bill, the single mother out there trying to provide a stable home for her children, the people who have poured the heart and soul into their home that was destroyed because of this disaster....those are the people that deserve recognition.
10/5/2012 9:22:00 AM
sky high says:
You are beguiled! Who said there are only 6 people? There are a lot more than 6, I assure you. The lawyers wouldn't be preceding if there were only 6 people. Quit posting misinformation please
10/5/2012 11:20:13 AM
YQTite says:
Enjoy the read.....
10/5/2012 5:04:02 PM
Sui Generis says:
Except those few that are suing are NOT the ones you would have been donating to via the disaster relief fund. You're punishing the wrong people, and you seem to feel justified in doing so. Says a lot about you, really.
10/5/2012 10:23:37 AM
advocate says:
It would be great if the DRC provided some information about local fundraisers.

I think there is a dinner going on at the KC soon in support of the food relief. I also heard that Volunteer Thunder Bay is doing a bottle drive, where if you want to donate your empties, they will pick them up and return them for you.

Could we get more information on these events?
10/4/2012 8:38:30 PM
commonsense says:
Keep it real see the problem - the provincial matching dollars.
Why does the provincial dollars ONLY match dollars donated? People just don't have that much to spare!
If this is REALLY a disaster, (which it certainly is for the folks affected) just give the needed funds and never mind the initial donations which is match $2 for $1.
and if Thunder Bayites dont' donate, we end up covering ALL the costs, without matching dollars.
A catch 22 situation for sure........
10/4/2012 9:49:01 PM
nvjgu says:
They forgave Bucky of 25 million, city is giving 50k a month to regen med, all that money given to Global sticks, the art work at the water front. I could go on an on, there asking the public for donation's. What the H is going on.
10/5/2012 7:25:23 AM
moi says:
...."Gave at the office already"...
The DRC needs to rethink it's goals.
Too many charites asking for donations,many of us have a difficult enough time making ends meet.Sorry DRC...I'm all tapped out.I'm finished donating (for the year) what little spare change I had.
10/5/2012 8:53:01 AM
citizenreporter says:
What do people affected by the flood do in the meantime? Some can not return to homes yet, have no heat or hot water or are developing mould issues?

Shared from Facebook
"Anyone without a furnace due to the flood or with any concerns about safe heating, should call 211 and an Assessment Team will visit their residence to help. Insured and uninsured residents can access the Assessment Teams, which include a Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Fire Inspector, the Red Cross, and representatives through the City of Thunder Bay Facilities, Fleet & Transit Services Department."

If you need help please call 211
10/5/2012 9:20:11 AM
jimmy2 says:
Why is it up to the taxpayers to give away their money for people who had disaster strike them, I gave almost everything I could, and i dont at all blame the homeowners, I think this sewer back up is totaly the city fault, and they should be paying, There are people who have nothing, and have never had anything, and i think those are the ones who need the help at christmas time, but right now, with the way this city is going, everyday you are asked to donate money for one cause or another, when is it enough? ANd i sorry to say that, but every store you go in to they want donations, and then you get sarcastic remarks when you don't donate, I am sorry, i wish i had an extra two or three dollars every day, I wish i had money to buy things, but in reality, I am not more well off than any other. all in all, when is it enough?
10/5/2012 12:12:06 PM
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