'I've lost everything': Some victims of Inn of Waterloo fire still waiting for return of personal belongings
KITCHENER -- People staying at the Inn of Waterloo at the time of a fire in February are still waiting for access to their personal belongings.
The fire happened on Feb. 9 in a part of the hotel that was being used a temporary shelter since the fall.
“I did go out in the hall and there was smoke in the hall,” said Scott Hay, a fire victim.
Hay was one of 120 men using the temporary shelter run by the House of Friendship.
He says he left in a rush and didn’t grab his personal belongings.
“I’ve spent over two months without my hearing aids,” Hay said.
The House of Friendship says 15 people have their belongings back with the rest expected to have their items returned in the coming weeks.
“We’re doing everything we can. It’s a really unfortunate difficult situation as you can imagine,” said John Neufeld, the Executive Director at the House of Friendship.
Neufeld said smoke damaged items are currently being cleaned. He said not everything will be returned, since things like clothing will not be salvaged.
“It didn’t make sense to get them cleaned and all that. So essential items or items that the gentleman identified as really important,” said Neufeld.
This has left some guests like Hay frustrated as he said he doesn’t have much to begin with after being homeless for a few years.
“That’s what really bothers me,” Hay said. “I’m homeless I’ve lost everything, except that stuff I had.”
Neufeld said majority of the men that were using the temporary shelter are using the shelter program in Guelph.
“Thirty other gentlemen have actually moved on to housing,” said Neufeld.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
A new site for the temporary shelter has not yet been finalized.