Strathcona County opens welcome centre for evacuees

May 10, 2016

Strathcona County opens welcome centre for evacuees

Strathcona County, in partnership with local community groups and agencies, has opened a welcome centre to provide resources and up-to-date information to those affected by the Fort McMurray and area fires. The Welcome Centre, located in the Community Centre’s Agora at 401 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park, is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

“We have been working with those affected by the fire to find out what we can do to help meet their immediate and upcoming needs,” says Mayor Roxanne Carr. “We heard the need for a gathering place that brings together local resources and agencies. Together with our community partners, we can help address questions and next steps our guests may be having while they are staying in Strathcona County.” 

The Welcome Centre offers those displaced by the northern fires with the opportunity to connect with other evacuees. Centre features include refreshments, free wifi and interactive spaces for children to play. Trained staff onsite will provide information on emotional and mental health support services, local school options and multi-agency support services. In addition, the Strathcona County Library (located in the same building) offers access to computer kiosks and loaned electronic devices. Note, donations cannot be accepted at the Welcome Centre.

Please note, the Welcome Centre is for only those who have been displaced by the fires, and is not open to the public. This is an important aspect in respecting the confidentiality and privacy of those accessing the centre. The Welcome Centre is not equipped to handle overnight accommodations. For those in need of housing support, visit the Evacuation Centre at Edmonton Northlands, Hall A, 7515 - 118 Ave NW, Edmonton.

Map of Community Centre location

Parking information

As a reminder, evacuees staying in Strathcona County are welcome to access all County recreational facilities, and local and commuter transit service, free of charge.  Simply show a driver’s licence or other photo ID for proof of residency for access.

Family and Community Services is offering extended weekend hours.

All those displaced by the fire should register with Red Cross - no matter where currently located - even if already registered with an evacuation centre. This registration allows the Red Cross to reach evacuees as more information becomes available and ensures access to the services in the future, including access to emergency financial assistance. To register, visit www.redcross.ca or call 1-888-350-6070. International citizens affected by the evacuations are encouraged to register with their home embassy.

The province has advised financial donations are best to help evacuees at this time. For residents wishing to help, donations can be made directly to the Canadian Red Cross. The federal and provincial governments will match donations to meet the emerging needs.

The Strathcona Food Bank Association is accepting donations – call 780-449-6413 for location and hours, or food donations can be dropped off at the Sherwood Park Mall. The Information and Volunteer Centre is collecting names of residents who would like to volunteer.


Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of almost 96,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.

 

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Contact: Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595