Storage Space Urgently Needed in Windsor due to Fire

by Bianca Schmutz
Categories: Divisional News
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Work is moving fast on completion to the Windsor Salvation Army Community and Family Services gymnasium, which was damaged by a January 17 fire. The blaze caused $75 000 in damage to the building’s floors and walls, plus the cost of food, supplies, toys and equipment kept in the gym, which serves as a storage area for donations.

“Our biggest challenge logistically since the fire is that given that it was our primary storage area for our supplies and food, we had to relocate that,” says Danny Pinksen, Executive Director of The Salvation Army food bank in Windsor.

“We relocated it to another Salvation Army Church in south Windsor. They’ve given us their gymnasium to store all of our things. While some food and equipment were salvaged from the fire and is still usable, a lot of food had to be thrown out.”

Food used by CFS is shared by the shelter kitchen to feed in-house residents and food baskets distributed to the greater community.

Thankfully, Danny says the impact of the fire on the agency is more logistical, as no one in the shelter or food bank clients are going hungry. Last summer, the City of Windsor held a ‘Miracle Day’ food drive to support the 16 local food banks, including The Salvation Army. In a huge display of giving, Windsor and area residents donated more than 2 million pounds of food.

“If I could go there right now and get 25 skids of food, I could, but I have nowhere to put it. I would avail of that if our gymnasium was available,” Danny explained.

Due to the lack of storage space, Danny said the agency is actively seeking a donated offsite storage warehouse to keep food and supply supplies. The ideal space would be a private locked area where The Salvation Army is the only tenant.

“We can’t keep items on site right now because we have no storage space so we have to go back and forth to the south Windsor Citadel and here constantly.”

Food bags being distributed to the community that would normally be prepared at the Community and Family Services building are now inconveniently packaged offsite. Because of those logistical issues, the food bank is scaled back to three days a week, down from the five days a week service prior to the fire.

While adjustments have been made to the way programs operate, they have continued to provide support. In the shelter, residents are normally housed two per room, but because of Covid-19 protocols and rules with distancing, half the residents are now set up in the chapel. The other half have rooms to themselves.

The chapel is the multipurpose room for CFS, but with that being used as a shelter and the gym not available, an offsite storage area would allow the gym to be used by residents for recreation programs, as intended.

If a warehouse owner or operator has a private space available in Windsor to donate to The Salvation Army, Danny Pinksen can be contacted at 519-253-7473.

 

By Chris McGregor