Work on the EC$2.5 Million dollar new Grotto Home for the homeless which began three months ago is progressing steadily and if all goes well will be ready for use by the end of 2014.
Back in October 2007, The government of Dominica purchased” the land which housed the old Grotto Home and land to facilitate the construction of the Windsor Park Sports Stadium and the new wing of the Dominica Grammar School.
Since then the facility has been temporarily housed at the Dominica Club accommodating approximately fifty residents.
The new facility now being constructed on a two acre property in Bellevue Rawle, Stockfarm when completed is expected to house one hundred residents in more comfortable surroundings.
Parry Bellot, Public Relations Officer and member of the Board of Directors of the Grotto home during a recent site visit with Government officials said the project will be done in three phases.
“Phase one consists of three dormitories with bathrooms each two sleeping 16 and one 17 for the current residents. Lockable Downstairs Storage Areas will also be built.
Phase two consists of the main Building which will provide supervised inside and outside living space including male and female verandas with washrooms, a dining room, a chapel/meeting area, an Administration office, Doctors room, Staff quarters, kitchen and laundry”.
Phase three will include a further three dormitories for those people who are currently part of the Grotto Home’s outreach Soup Kitchen programme.
Parry Bellot on behalf of the board of the Grotto Home is appealing to the public for donations to assist them with the project which is valued at more than EC$2.5 Million.
Notwithstanding that however, Bellot is encouraged by the level of assistance promised this far.
“The initial budget proposed about two years ago is about two point six two point five million but we anticipate that that with the rising cost of everything it will be a lot more. We are getting and anticipating a lot of donations. We have a commitment from one Japanese agency. The Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) will be considering an application we have made and we do anticipate as we get a little further on as people see things happening they will be inclined to come forward”.
Community Development Minister Hon. Gloria Shillingford who formed part of the delegation visiting the site is impressed with the progress made on the project thus far.
“As I look at the structure I am really happy to see the amount of work done so far. I can see the kind of commitment there is to be able to help our underprivileged and poor people who have nowhere else to go. That says a lot about the committee and the pastors and all those involved in lending a hand”.
The Government of Dominica has been assisting the Grotto Home for the Homeless by paying a regular subvention towards the operations of the home. The Government is also meeting the salary of the Supervisor.
Minister Shillingford said” Government is committed to continue to give assistance to the Grotto in whatever manner. We will continue to give you your subvention and pledge to assist in any other way that we can”.
The facility is expected to be in a state of readiness within the next two years.