Huge response helps halfway house for women

The community’s response to a cry for help from the Bridge Foundation this month overwhelmed the charity with the support it received to establish transitional housing for women.

The foundation had put out a call for donations to help furnish a six-bed women’s residence in West Bay to house women recovering from alcohol and/or drug addiction.

Bridge Foundation operating manager Bud Volinsky said the charity was inundated with old and new furniture, kitchen equipment, installation assistance and cash donations, including a $40,000 donation from The Aall Foundation.

“The appeal went online and we were swamped with offers from people from all walks of life in Cayman. The appeal for help for a woman’s shelter seems to have touched a nerve,” Mr. Volinsky said. “We are humbled by the number of people who have offered to help.”

The foundation operates a six-bed male residence in West Bay, and this year intends to expand it to 12 beds, in addition to the new women’s halfway house.

He said the foundation has proved itself more than capable of providing a home for men and recognized an equal need for the same kind of facility for women. It will officially open on May 29.

“Following treatment, transitional housing is recognized as an essential step on the road to recovery from drug and/or alcohol abuse, without which addicts will find themselves sliding back into a cycle of addiction and recidivism, with all the social and economic repercussions that those can cause,” Mr. Volinsky said.

“Every country needs dedicated transitional housing services. Our fallback rate is lower than the international average and could fall even lower if new procedures are adopted at the treatment level,” he said.

Transitional housing is intended to enhance the independence, dignity and privacy of residents who are undergoing alcohol and drug programs. The program provides sober living environments to decrease the likelihood of relapse.