THE TCI’s first halfway house to rehabilitate drug addicts, prisoners and psychiatric patients is halfway complete.
But more cash is needed to finish extensive works at the South Dock facility and add a roof, doors, windows and more.
The Turks and Caicos Drug Prevention Foundation will be hosting its annual Masquerade Ball on Friday, April 27, at the Courtyard at The Shore Club, Long Bay, to raise funds.
President of the foundation Dierin Longmire spoke about the ball at a press briefing on Monday (February 19) at the grounds of the building.
She said the foundation is looking forward to the public’s support this year to bring the Mental Health Group Home nearer to completion.
“As you can see, we don’t have a roof yet, or doors or windows, so we’re really looking forward to support on getting this up and I just want everybody to know that the money has not been squandered and we’re getting up and running now.
“We really would appreciate everybody coming forward and helping us in whatever they can do, if they want to donate some time in construction that would be fantastic.
“If you have some dollars that you can submit to us so we can get some materials we’ll need for the future that will be great too.”
Longmire who has been working with the Drug Unit since 1995 stated that every year the event gains more and more support from the TCI community.
A vital facility
The Mental Health Group Home once completed will provide a 24 bed facility accommodating those with chronic and persistent mental illnesses that need supportive housing care.
The two phase construction is costing about $700,000 in total and will allow providers to offer acute care services as well as areas for group therapy and recreation.
Architect for the halfway house Charles Garland told media that phase one of the project is complete.
He pointed out that plans are in the pipelines to build a second facility, providing all goes well with the first.
“We have talked about other buildings in other areas the Government provided us with 10 acres, somewhere going towards North West Point and we intend to build another facility for drug offenders when this one is completed.
“And if they don’t have a job, the occupants of this facility can go and farm and help grow food to help support themselves while they live here.”
Garland said that the facility needs about $400,000 to finish the construction.
“About six months we can be inside if we raise $400,000. We’ve spent close to $300,000 already and you see where we are.
“The hard work is done once we get the roof and windows in, then comes the easy part. But in construction that’s the longest part because you have to take your time and do the finish work on the inside.”
Dr.Alicia Malcom, head of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence, said the facility will help those who are suffering from alcohol, drug addiction and the ones who are constantly in and out of jail.
She said: “We broke ground last year, and although we don’t have a roof as yet, this project is far underway.
“This project is designed to assist in the reintegration of drug offenders who are placed on parole by the courts and to serve as an after care programme for substance abuse clients who have completed inpatient services but also need additional support.
“It is also intended that this facility will serve as a custodial programme for alternative sentencing for first time non-violent drug offenders.”
Last year the Government handed over a long anticipated $150,000 to the foundation to help bring the project to fruition.
The Turks and Caicos Drug Prevention Foundation is urging to the community to come to the ball and support this worthy cause.
Anyone interested in buying a ticket can contact Dierin Longmire on 246-2526.