Turning Points Collaborative Society staff was applauded by executive director Randene Wejr after going above and beyond the call of duty following an electrical fire at the emergency response centre on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. (Contributed)

Turning Points Collaborative Society staff was applauded by executive director Randene Wejr after going above and beyond the call of duty following an electrical fire at the emergency response centre on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. (Contributed)

LETTER: Turning Points director applauds staff after electrical fire in Vernon

‘Our staff went above and beyond for our clients… but this is nothing new,’ says executive director

A lot of what we do at Turning Points Collaborative Society flies under the radar, mostly unnoticed by the greater public. For those who are not aware, we work closely with folks in our community who would be considered our most vulnerable citizens. We offer a continuum of care that ranges from services and programs for people experiencing homelessness to addiction treatment and sober living facilities as well as employment services.

Our organization’s vision is to build community by strengthening people.

As you can imagine, it takes an incredibly special person to dedicate themselves to this kind of work.

That is what I am writing about today: our people.

As some of you may have read in the local media, we had a small, electrical fire at our Emergency Response Centre (ERC) on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 18).

The fire was quickly extinguished, and the damage was contained to a restricted staff area; but more importantly, all our clients and staff were calmly evacuated from the site without injury.

Sadly, the fire resulted in a temporary displacement of clients staying at the ERC.

And this brings me to my point: Our staff are truly unsung heroes in this community.

Not only for the way they handled this potentially disastrous situation but also in the way they cared for the clients and each other in the moments, hours and days after this unforeseen event.

As our clients stood in the rain, watching firefighters enter the building, uncertain of what was going on, uncertain of how this situation was going to unfold, our staff continued to provide them with care and attention — doing their best to reassure our clients, and themselves, that it will all be OK.

As the minutes ticked away and word began to spread, more staff showed up to help.

These are our employees who were not on the clock; our employees, who would have been otherwise enjoying a Sunday evening with their families.

They came with food, blankets, jackets, shoes. They collected items from their own closets and cupboards for our clients. They came not because they had to, they came because they wanted to.

The staff who were scheduled, and the staff that arrived to help, worked into the wee hours of the morning, providing comfort and care to our clients. They provided them with the dignity and respect befitting any member of our community who has been displaced from their home.

I am so incredibly proud of our team.

Our staff went above and beyond for our clients Sunday night, but this is nothing new.

Randene Wejr, Executive Director, Turning Points Collaborative Society

READ MORE: Halloween fireworks curbed in all but two North Okanagan communities

READ MORE: Vernon shelter residents find refuge in hotels, motels, recreation complex after fire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Friends with Dorothy opens in Victoria.
LGBT2Q+ lounge Friends with Dorothy opens second location in Victoria

The Kelowna-based lounge plans to open in Victoria mid-December

Leighton Allen Labute faces charges of animal abuse and allegedly has a string of social media accounts depicting disturbing content.
Accused Kelowna hamster killer has trial date set for 2021

Leighton Labute’s three day trial is scheduled for Aug. 16, 2021

Take a break from the slopes to discover the rich culture and diversity of Vernon. Michelle Beaudry photo, courtesy Tourism Vernon.
Tourism Vernon could see 40% cut to budget due to COVID-19

New approach to help residents and visitors activate their adventures

Christmas break extended for UBCO students

Move made to support mental health of students, accommodate ‘overload’ of work

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Summerland residents have been receiving a telephone scam with the number showing as the telephone number of the local RCMP detachment. (Black Press Media files)
Summerland RCMP telephone number spoofed in scam calls

Number used in scam attempts from tax agency

(Village of Lumby photo)
Mysterious, loud ‘boom’ shakes North Okanagan residents

Village staff, Earthquakes Canada aren’t sure what caused the explosion-like sound

Follow public health recommendations, says Interior Health as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Revelstoke. (Image courtesy CDC)
Revelstoke positive COVID cases grows to 29

Interior Health announced a cluster in the community on Nov. 26

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
Two Fraser Valley churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Penticton law courts
Osoyoos child sex offender in court

Shawn Titus, 37, is charged with possession of child porn

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read