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Hastings Lake hall houses 15 evacuees

Several families displaced by the Fort McMurray fires have found a temporary home in Hastings Lake.

The small community, located northeast of Sherwood Park, has welcomed five families at its community hall.

“We saw a need,” said Billy Teefy, president of Hastings Lake Community Association.

Currently, the association is hosting 15 people in five RVS, which were donated by members of the community.

“It seemed like the right thing to do,” he said.

“It gives purpose to being here… We’re all on this rock together.”

After running the idea by the board of directors, Teefy sent out a request for help on Facebook.

Food and supplies flooded in, and there are still five unused RVs on site and another five on standby. The hall onsite is currently filled with clothing, toiletries and toys.

“Our community has been so outstanding,” he said.

“I get calls and calls of people offering anything. We definitely have enough supplies and (we’re) playing it by ear.”

Many local organizations have pitched together to make the temporary homes possible. QM Environmental Services provided the shower trailer; the generator was courtesy of CAT rentals; Water on Wheels and Bush Bandit are providing water; and Go RV supplied propane.

“Through this, now that we’ve kind of finished this triage stage, our next step is to see what we can do for longer-term solutions,” Teefy added.

“We’re only open to a maximum of June 1. We need to work on that transition from there.”

The hall is booked solid for weddings all summer long, and there have already been a few cancelled events for May.

“The biggest thing is if anybody has any longer-term solution for housing — real housing, not just RVs — in the area, there’s people out there that need it,” he said.

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