What began as a simple maintenance undertaking in March 2010, quickly turned into a full scale renovation and refurbishment project costing Government in excess of $200 000.
Chairperson of the National Assistance Board, Maria Boyce, made this disclosure earlier today while speaking at a handing over ceremony at the Clyde Gollop Night Shelter at School Road, Hindsbury Road, St. Michael.
She gave the assurance that the NAB remained committed to fulfilling its obligation and responsibility to the people of Barbados.
She noted that in addition to providing home care service to the elderly, the NAB was also charged with the responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the Clyde Gollop Night Shelter.
Pointing out the extent of the repairs that had to be undertaken, Boyce said: “There is no area of the property that has not been improved. We have worked on the roof, the floors, the windows, the bathrooms, the dormitory area, the kitchen the office accommodation, the service area and the exterior. We have completed repairs and renovations to the frame and the structure of the building, both on the inside and on the outside, and we have outfitted the space with furniture and fittings from top to bottom.”
Acknowledging that the facility sat nestled in the midst of a tightly-knitted community, Boyce promised to be good neighbours to the residents of the area.
“In this regard we will use our influence to ensure that the wells and surroundings of the Night Shelter are properly maintained in the fine condition in which you observe them today,” she said.
The Chairman gave the assurance that the improvements to the physical plant were not the extent of the changes that were taking place with regard to the operation of the Night Shelter.
She said: “The management of the NAB has also worked at formalising and modernising the policies and procedures in place. You can appreciate that the management of 35 persons with diverse needs and concerns can be a complicated undertaking, and our officers and social workers have worked with staff and occupants in order to develop and communicate the rules of the facility and to ensure that the property is protected along with the rights of the persons seeking shelter here.”
Boyce expressed the hope that programmes aimed at rehabilitation and re-integration into the society could be expanded.
“Our goal is that the Night Shelter should be a short term place for persons to rest; not a permanent residence. Training, whether specific to job skills or general behavioural counselling, forms a key part of our work with the occupants and we are committed to ensuring that these programmes are continued and intensified,” Boyce said.
The chairperson of the NAB encouraged the occupants of the Night Shelter to make the best use of the facility and to take the best care of what is essentially their home. (NC)