After years of waiting, residents of the Community Hostel’s Inc. (CHI), also known as the Grotto Home for the Homeless will finally move into their new location at Bellevue Rawle.
That information was revealed by Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Grotto Home, Parry Bellot, at a press conference on Wednesday.
“We finally have a date, we are making all arrangements to move all our residents in the last weekend of May, before the Hurricane season, 25th, 26th, 27th,” he stated. “And the idea is to mobilize a lot of assistance from people and organizations that can help.”
He continued, “We are committed to that weekend.”
He said that the Red Cross, Ambulance Service, the police as well as the social services departments will be informed of the move.
Bellot said although he is not the “boss man” at the Grotto Home, he is going to make the move take place.
“We’ve always had maybe good reasons why we delayed the move or it couldn’t happen,” he stated. “I wasn’t boss man then and I am still not the boss man at the Grotto but in this project I am and I am going to make sure it happens, no matter what.”
According to Bellot, there are going to be some financial cost involved, “and we are getting some benefactors to assist.”
“Our former President (Ainsworth Irish), he didn’t really leave the post, he just walked away because he was getting a lot of pressure from the people who have been giving him money for the Grotto saying, when are you moving? But because that wasn’t happening, he was not getting the support from the other board members, he just took a sabbatical,” Bellot explained.
He made it clear that Irish will be back on the team.
Meantime, he expressed disappointment in the management of the funds received for the Grotto Home.
“I have never been happy with the accountability of the money we are getting and where it is going,” Bellot remarked. “Clearly that has to do with the management of the books, the treasurer and things like that. I personally have never been happy with that.”
He went on to say, “If we ask anybody how much this thing has cost, I don’t think anybody will give you a figure.”
Bellot also stated that a $2 million project, like the new Grotto Home, requires a manager.
In November 2015, then Grotto Home President Ainsworth Irish announced that the facility will move into its new location before Christmas.
The facility which was initially expected to consist of 5 apartments/dormitories at a cost of $ 2.7 million was reduced to two apartments/dormitories at a cost of $900,000.
The Grotto is a non-profit organization that was set up to cater to persons that are less fortunate and destitute in the society.
The organization relies totally on donations from corporate citizens and members of the general public alike, as well as overseas donors to be able to meet its commitment to the residents.
Construction works started at the new site at Bellevue Rawle in 2008.
It can accommodate 60 persons, however, it presently houses 30 residents.