Winnipeg News Release

Categories: Prairie News



The Salvation Army’s Winnipeg Booth Centre

is Partnering with Other Agencies to Set up New Emergency Influenza Pandemic Unit


 (Winnipeg, Manitoba November 4, 2009) – The reminders are everywhere: Wash your hands and use hand sanitizers.  Residents at The Salvation Army’s Winnipeg Booth Centre are reminded daily about flu prevention by posters and ever-present hand sanitizer dispensers around the shelter. 

As the flu season approaches, administration at the downtown emergency and transitional shelter are partnering with the province of Manitoba, Main Street Project, Siloam Mission and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s Health Action Centre to take extra precautions to protect people from spreading influenza-like viruses.  Booth Centre Executive Director, Major Al Hoeft, says the strategy is crucial to slowing down the transmission of the virus and helping people to not have further complications because they have no place to get well.  “All the advice says ‘if you have influenza-like symptoms then stay home’, well, people who live in shelters or on the street don’t have that option, so we are working together to create special circumstances for them.”

An emergency influenza pandemic unit is now being established at the Winnipeg Booth Centre at 180 Henry Avenue and will house up to 23 individual beds.  The concept is to have a place where people who don’t have the ability right now to stay in bed and recover, can do just that in this unit.  People who need this help will be referred into these 23 beds to convalesce.  Working together in partnership in our community will help to bring healing to those who have no place to call home, a safe place to recover from an influenza-like illness.

“Homeless shelters need to take precautions to reduce the risk of the pandemic flu virus, like many other organizations are doing around the province.”  said Kerri Irvin-Ross, Minister of Housing.  “I applaud the proactive efforts the shelters are making to ensure that a person with flu-like symptoms can get medical care, early treatment and have a safe place to recover.”

Up to 300 people curl up under the covers at The Salvation Army’s Winnipeg Booth Centre every night.  As we add this additional space, our hope is that people who are often forgotten will realize that they are cared about by our community.

On Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 9:30 a.m., the Winnipeg’s Booth Centre (180 Henry Avenue) will begin preparing the rooms at The Salvation Army’s new emergency influenza pandemic unit.  Media are invited to attend and tour the unit.

Did you Know in Winnipeg? 

  • That since 1886, The Salvation Army has been proudly carrying on its 123-year tradition in Winnipeg of compassionate care for vulnerable people.
  • Last year in Winnipeg, The Salvation Army served over 325,000 meals and the Booth Centre in Winnipeg housed over 2,500 individuals for over 85,000 bed nights. 
  • The Salvation Army serves the community of Winnipeg 365 days a year through 24 facilities which offer 35 social programs in the city such as safe shelters, meals, warm clothing, addiction rehabilitation, programs for new Canadians, work readiness programs as well as emergency and disaster services to name a few. 
  • We continue to ensure that the highest percentage of your donation is used in direct service delivery.  On average, 88 cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army is used directly in charitable activities – well above the Canada Revenue Agency guideline of 80% donation efficiency.    

About The Salvation Army in Canada

The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country.  The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and everyday in 400 communities across Canada and 118 countries around the world. 

The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction.  When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.