Above: Special guests pose for a photo after cutting the ribbon: from left, James Teitsma, member of the Legislative Assembly—Radisson; Majors Rodney and Paulette Bungay, administrators, School for the Blind (Jamaica); Markus Chambers, deputy mayor, City of Winnipeg; Vivian Santos, councillor, City of Winnipeg; Commissioner Susan McMillan, then territorial commander; Majors Shawn and Brenda Critch, divisional leaders, Prairie Division; and Megan Tate, the Winnipeg Foundation (Photo: Blair Malazdrewich)

After four years and $14 million, The Salvation Army's Winnipeg Booth Centre has taken on a new name: The Salvation Army Centre of Hope. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in September.

The event was open to the public and featured distinguished guests, speakers and a Salvation Army band. Commissioner Susan McMillan, then territorial commander, had the honour of cutting the ceremonial ribbon. Salvation Army emergency disaster services canteens fed nearly 1,500 people in attendance. The meal included pulled pork on a bun, hot dogs, corn on the cob, chips and cake, thanks to generous donations from Manitoba Pork, Northern Meats, Siloam Mission and Portage la Prairie McCain’s.

The newly renovated Centre of Hope features an upgraded and relocated security entryway and a front desk command centre to help maintain safety for everyone. The kitchen has been upgraded and modernized to make food service easier and more efficient. New windows were installed throughout to help make the building more environmentally friendly, secure and safe. Renovations also included any repairs that were needed due to general wear and tear and the age of the building.

“We have a variety of clientele that make use of this building and we want to try to make it a safe place and a practical place for everyone,” says Major Gordon Taylor, executive director.

The upgrades and repairs were vital to help the Army best serve the citizens of Winnipeg. The Centre has the capacity to provide 400 beds in the following allotments: Anchorage Program, 35 single rooms; Community Residential Facility (CRF), 20 single rooms; Emergency Shelter, 45 beds; Transitional Housing, 164 single rooms; Asylum Seekers, 40 beds; Safe Haven, 18 rooms; Family Shelter, 58 beds; and Extreme Weather Overflow, 20 beds.

Renovations to a facility of this size would be impossible without the help of generous supporters, including the Winnipeg Foundation, Thomas Sill Foundation, Paterson Foundation, Pollard Foundation, Manitoba Real Estate Shelter Foundation, Canada Mortgage And Housing Corporation, private donors, and the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

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