H1N1 facility opens for Winnipeg's homeless
By ChristianWeek Staff | Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Karen Hoeft demonstrates good hand hygiene at Booth Centre's emergency pandemic unit. PHOTO: JOSIAH NEUFELD
WINNIPEG, MBExperiencing flu symptoms? Chances are your doctor will prescribe antiviral medication and send you home to rest.
What happens if you have neither a home nor a bed, asks Karen Hoeft, assistant executive director of the Booth Centre, a Salvation Army run homeless shelter. The Centre has just finished setting up an area on its second floor where people without homes can recover from H1N1. The unit has a living room area, a kitchen and bedrooms with space for 23 people.
Workers at homeless shelters including Siloam Mission and the Main Street Project will refer people experiencing flu-like symptoms to the emergency influenza pandemic unit. The Main Street Project already helps transport people with health needs to local clinics or hospitals.
Once they've been prescribed a treatment and need someplace to fight the illness, the emergency influenza pandemic unit is available, says Hoeft.
Booth Centre set up the space in partnership with the Province, the Winnipeg Regional Health authority and other shelters. The provincial government has contracted the space for this purpose until February 28.