More than 800 homeless people have been safely isolated from COVID-19 over the past year thanks to a local community health centre.
One year ago yesterday, Main Street Project opened up Winnipeg's first COVID-19 isolation space to serve the city's homeless.
After the coronavirus first hit Manitoba, the downtown Winnipeg organization knew work needed to be done to serve and care for Winnipeg's homeless population.
Among other concerns was the knowledge that those who are homeless had no home to isolate in should they present with symptoms of the virus.
Main Street Project's COVID-19 isolation spaces or Alternative Isolation Accommodation (AIA) were set up in only five days. All 39 suites were furnished by donation.
In a social media post, the organization said more than 11,000 meals have been provided to those who have used the units in the past year, with half of referrals for the space coming from community sites, 40 per cent from hospitals and 10 per cent from community health centres.
20 staff members regularly worked at the site. "We couldn't do any of this work without our very dedicated staff," Main Street Project writes on Instagram.
Main Street Project estimates about 90 per cent of clients have received harm reduction and substance use support, as well as withdrawal management and mental health supports while they were in isolation.
30 per cent of those who stayed went on to seek further treatment for addictions after they were discharged.