We have opened our current 24/7 Emergency Shelter’s doors to women and children who suffer from abuse on the 8 th of March 2003. Domestic abuse is a violation of an individual’s human rights and is not just a problem that affects the person directly involved but also their families and the whole community. We are honored, that we can serve and empower the most vulnerable in our community, unfortunately recovering from abuse in overcrowded bedrooms and house is incredibly challenging. Our clients and their children deserve better living conditions for their healing, and we are determined to provide it for them.
Our client's safety is our priority; therefore our 24/7 Emergency Shelter has 24-hours a day, 7 days a week physical security on-site, and it is equipped with cameras, monitors, panic buttons, and sirens.
The current Emergency Shelter was adopted from a three-bedroom residential home. Until 2017 we had 3 bedrooms available to our shelter clients, and since we opened our walk-in office, Estella’s Place, and moved our various programs there, we have 4 bedrooms facility. In those four bedrooms, we have 26 beds and a crib. On average we shelter 90 women and children annually, and since they can stay with us for 60 days with a possibility of an extension, very often two or three families must share the same bedroom.
In November and December of 2018 alone, there was a total of 35 women and children who accessed our Emergency Shelter. This is the highest number of clients that we have ever supported at one time. Due to lack of beds for everyone, some of our clients slept on the sofas in the living room and on the floor in the corridor. Not having enough beds and space for everyone is not the only challenge presently. We also do not have enough bathrooms (3 bathrooms), we have one small kitchen, one stove, one fridge, one washer, and one dryer, one dining room table with 8 chairs, one six-seater sofa, and the list goes on.
Our annual operating budget is CI$700,000. CI Government recognizes how essential are the services we provide for victims of domestic violence and supports us in the amount of CI$325,000 annually. The other half of our annual budget we must raise via various fundraising events, grants, donations from corporates and private individuals. The estimated cost for the purposely build a shelter is between 1.5 to 2 million dollars and despite our best efforts to fundraise the money for the new shelter, we are still very far from reaching our goal and we need your help!
We hope that you will join us in our efforts and partner with us on our biggest dream – having the purposely build a shelter for the victims of domestic violence in the Cayman Islands.