Halfway houses in need of money

Hope for Today Foundation heads efforts

Two halfway houses for recovering
addicts are up and running on Grand Cayman. How long they stay in operation
will depend on financial support from the private sector.

A halfway house helps prevent
relapses by serving as a bridge from treatment to re-entering the community.
The Hope for Today Foundation has been working to build that bridge, renting
facilities that provide a stable, drug- and alcohol-free environment for
residents who are getting back on their feet.

The rented facilities are in the
Hell area of West Bay. One house can accommodate up to six men at a time, while
another nearby can accommodate up to four women. A third house serves as
manager’s residence and office. An open deck, venue for Alcoholics Anonymous
weekly meetings that are attended also by people from the surrounding
community, completes the campus.

Six people are in residence,
working during the day or seeking employment and attending a minimum of 12
counselling meetings per week.

Hope foundation chairman Frank
Volinsky said the programme as it is now can assist 20 people per year; at a
cost.

The budget for fiscal year 2011 is
$226,280, or about $11,000 per person helped.

Funds needed to cover the three
rents total $31,680. Insurance, utilities and other maintenance costs total
$52,900. Expenses for a nine-passenger van are budgeted at $5,600. Office
expenses are set at $13,700; consulting and other fees, $8,000; programme
expansion and fund-raising costs are $15,000. The manager residing on campus
would receive a salary of $24,000 per year.

The operations manager — who deals
with partnering agencies such as the prison, West Bay police, the Drug
Rehabilitation Court, the Department of Children and Family Services — would
be paid $50,400 per year. This person will also work to expand the programme to
other districts where needed.

Halfway house residents are
expected to pay 25 per cent of their weekly earnings – not to exceed $100 – toward
their rent. They buy their own food and either pool their groceries or cook for
themselves. They also contribute to campus maintenance by participating in
weekly chores along with daily cleaning tasks.

The Hope for Today Foundation is
designed as a non-profit, non-affiliated, non-governmental organisation, Mr.
Volinsky said. Application has been made to the Ministry of Finance, Tourism
and Development for recognition as a not-for-profit legal entity. A ministry
spokesperson confirmed, “His application process is close to an end and a final
decision will be made before Governor-In-Cabinet that ultimately determines the
organisation’s status.”

Along with Mr. Volinsky, foundation
board members are Simon Boxall, Terry Delaney, Brent Hydes and Robert Foster.

A limited appeal for assistance was
made in June and Mr. Volinsky was pleased by the immediate donations of
household items and start-up supplies. Several professionals have offered their
time to teach reading, finance, health and relationship skills.

“I genuinely believe in the
generosity of the community,” Mr. Volinsky said.

Anyone who wishes to donate may do
so online with Butterfield Bank (Hope for Today Foundation, Halfway House
Bridge Program) or by mailing a cheque to PO Box 1 Hell, Grand Cayman KY1-1401,
Cayman Islands.

Individuals who wish to be accepted
as a resident of a halfway house must:

Be Caymanian or Caymanian status
holder 

Have undergone treatment for
alcohol/drug addiction

Participating in an aftercare
counselling programme

Have a sincere desire to pursue a
clean and sober lifestyle

Be committed to abide by the
residency guidelines and expectations (which include zero tolerance and
curfews)

Have a written reference from one
or more of the partnering agencies

Be screened and interviewed prior
to entry.

TOPhalfway

The halfway house campus includes this modest residence for the on-site manager.
Photo: Carol Winker
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