The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre is facing its own crisis as demand for its shelter for battered women and their children grows.
It has been open since 2003 and has seen its occupancy increase 30 per cent year on year, urgently requiring facility upgrades and interior renovations.
The centre is the only safe shelter for battered women and their children and houses as many as 18 women and children at a time, for as long as 60 days.
The Crisis Centre’s executive director Renee Carroll-Grate said the centre had already raised about $30,000 for the renovation work, but she hopes more companies and people will come forward to raise the final $10,000 necessary.
“We hope to begin the renovation project in the new year, but we still need to raise some additional monies,” she said.
In the last financial year, the centre received 131 calls from victims of domestic violence and sheltered 62 women and children.
The Crisis Centre also offers individual and group counselling, access to support groups and referral services, runs a 24-hour helpline and gives food and clothing to residents.
“While access to a safe and abuse-free environment is the centre’s main objective, the centre is focusing on renovations to make the facility – now more than 10 years old – more comfortable and uplifting. The aim is for the centre to be a place where clients can feel nurtured, start to heal from the trauma they have faced and begin preparations for their healthy and abuse-free future lives,” Ms Carroll-Grate said.
The centre depends heavily on donations for its operating budget and for the past few years, volunteer organisations, such as Rotary Central and the Grand Cayman Community Footprints programme, as well as The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, have provided maintenance by painting and landscaping the centre.
So, while the exterior of the site has had its own face-lift, the interior is aging and getting run down, Ms Carroll-Grate said.
The renovation work will not mean the centre will be able to take in more women and children, but it will make it more comfortable and inviting for them, she said. “Unfortunately, we can’t expand. We just don’t have the space,” she said.
The centre has been collaborating with senior interior designer Philip Nadeau from DDL Studio, who donated his time and expertise to provide plans to renovate and redesign the centre.
“The design proposal organises the clutter, consolidates and separates the office areas from the client space, and unifies the furniture and finishes. The result will be a calming cohesive space that subconsciously will lift the spirits of the clients,” Mr. Nadeau said.
The centre is appealing to businesses and individuals to sponsor a portion of the renovation project or make a general donation.
Anyone interested in making a donation should contact Ms Carroll-Grate at 949-0366, extension 23.