Halfway home gets boost from ministry

| 22/12/2016
CNS Local Life

L-R) Cabinet ministers Osbourne Bodden and Tara Rivers present a cheque to Hope For Today board member Christopher Burke

(CNS Local Life): The Hope For Today Foundation, which runs a halfway house for recovering addicts in West Bay, has received an early Christmas present with a $10,000 donation from the Ministry of Community Affairs, delivered by Minister Osbourne Bodden. The funds will assist with operating costs of the men’s rehabilitation residential home, which can house and treat 10 men.

There are currently eight residents living in the home, who were referred by the Drug Rehabilitation Court and other entities focusing on rehabilitation.

Established five years ago to address a pressing need for such a service, how long the facility continues to operate depends largely on ongoing support from outside agencies and contributions from the private sector.

Speaking of the donation, Bodden said, “The rehabilitation of substance abusers is something that profoundly impacts the community and individuals.  Assisting entities like the Hope For Today Foundation is something that is essential for us to do as a forward-thinking society and fits neatly into the mandate of my ministry, under the counselling and rehabilitative services we offer through our own facilities.”

Brent Hydes, the home’s operations manager, said, “The ministry’s kind donation has come at a critical stage in the future development of the halfway house. We are heavily reliant on outside support.

“I want to thank Mr Bodden for recognising the benefits of this programme. The money will go towards rent (and) utilities the staff (need) to run our six- to eight-month programme; and a small stipend for gasoline.”

He continued, “We offer a much-needed solution to the problem of recidivism,” adding, “The programme pays for itself in terms of the reduction in crime in the country.”

According to Hydes, who is a recovered addict, the success of the facility’s 12-step programme is due to its meetings, counselling and informal fellowship. It allows residents to work through the issues surrounding their addiction and reflect on the negative and long-lasting impact that the crimes used to fuel their habit cause to their own community, to families and to themselves.

“Cayman is such a small place, try as you might you are always going to have some connection with your old locales, friends and the temptations those bring,” Hydes said.

Where the halfway house really helped, he felt, was in accepting the totality of every individual’s life experiences and in offering realistic solutions to combatting the disease of addiction.

“If you practise something long enough it becomes a habit. People are a product of their environment and healthy habits can be learned in time,” he added, noting that the programme does not offer a cure-all but rather a way of living and dealing with deep-seated personal crises that bring about a cycle of chaos and destruction.

“We are nothing if not realists here. Our hope is that residents come out of the programme and stay clean. Our recidivism rate is below average. Over the last 18 months of the purchase agreement with government we’ve had 26 men pass through our doors. Of those, 16 have completed the programme and not returned to substance abuse,” Hydes said.

To learn more about Hope For Today, visit the foundation’s website. Donations can be made either online via Butterfield Bank (Hope For Today Foundation, Halfway House Bridge Program) or by mailing a cheque to PO Box 1 Hell, Grand Cayman KY1-1401

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Category: Community, Donations

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