Grotto Home residents to move before Christmas

Works being done on the new Grotto Home
Works being done on the new Grotto Home

If all goes according to plan, residents of the Community Hostel’s Inc. (CHI), also known as the Grotto Home for the Homeless, will move into their new location at Bellevue Rawle before Christmas, President of the Grotto Home Ainsworth Irish has said.

Construction works started at the new site in 2008 and although the government of Dominica, along with other organization, has made donations to the institution, challenges still remain.

Ainsworth Irish
Ainsworth Irish

“We, as I indicated, we have some logistical problems but we are really looking forward to moving this time around shortly before Christmas,” he said at a press conference at the Fort Young Hotel on Friday. “We have been trying to move for the last 12 months and there have been a lot of drawbacks…What I can tell you, in my personal view, I believe the residents will be more comfortable at the new surroundings because the old Grotto here, we moved there in 2010, and we have been given that space for about three years.”

According to Irish since then the government of Dominica has spent in excess of $60,000 doing repairs into the old Grotto.

“We do not want this to happen again…,” he stated.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Grotto Home, Parry Bellot said one of the challenges faced by the board members relates to the ‘Soup Kitchen,’ a program organized to feed vagrants during the late afternoons.

“We provide a soup kitchen for the vagrants in the late afternoon so that anybody who needs a meal can come to the Grotto Home located in Roseau and can come and receive a hot meal anytime from about 6:00 pm,” he explained. “Although a lot of focus has been on a new building we are still operating a Home for the Homeless, so it’s really been a challenge for board members. That actually is going to pose some problems for us when we move to the new site at Bellevue Rawle, because we don’t think the soup kitchen can offer it from up there…”

Parry Bellot
Parry Bellot

According to Bellot, the Grotto Home receives approximately $25,000 from the Government of Dominica on a yearly basis, but actually needs $121,000 yearly to maintain the operations at that organization.

Bellot had previously said another major hold back was the lack of fencing at the new location and roughly about $70,000 was required to construct the fence.

He noted, however, that monies have been made available and construction of the fence is expected to commence on Monday (November 9).

Bellot said also that water is available on the site and a water tank donated by Dominica Water and Sewerage Company (DOWASCO) expected to be installed soon.

LIME Dominica recently donated $10,000 to the Grotto Home to assist with the finishing touches required for the move.

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.

It can also accommodate 50 persons, however it presently house 44 residents.

The Grotto is a non-profit organization that was set up to cater to persons that are less fortunate and destitute 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.

The Board of Directors of the Grotto Home conveyed gratitude to its staff, residents and others who assisted the institution in one way or the other.

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  1. ?
    November 9, 2015

    also that building in Bellevue Rawl is too small and needs to be fenced and have proper landscaping done. i refuse to believe thats what all you come up with.

  2. ?
    November 9, 2015

    First of all the Dominica Sports and Recreation Club should have NEVER EVER been used as the home for the homeless. Absolute SHAME!!! That was a glorious place of recreation for old and young. Those who know it will agree. There was billiards, squash, badminton, table tennis, lawn tennis, darts etc..the place was kept clean and functional even when it served as a night club. Now you so called visionary leaders have destroyed it. you would have to demolish it and rebuild to bring it back to its former stage.

  3. November 8, 2015

    i hope that security will be a component in this brand new facility. this institution has been targeted before in Roseau and while it was under construction .there is also the safety and welbeing of the staff and residents of the home.

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