SUCKER GARDEN--Dr. J Foundation, run by seasoned clinical psychologist Dr. Judith Arndell, has been selected to run a new shelter that is to be established in a small empty hotel building in Sucker Garden.
The new shelter will be operated at a cost of NAf. 1.8 million per annum and will be able to house 80 persons, Health Minister Emil Lee said on Wednesday. He did not specify how the shelter will be funded and did not respond to questions from the Daily Herald last night as to the source of the funding.
Dr. J Foundation has been operating a 10-bed emergency crisis shelter over the past two years. It currently houses two families who lost their homes during Hurricane Irma.
Arndell is the recipient of a royal decree. She founded UJIMA Foundation for at-risk boys, is a metal health specialist and pioneer, the clinical director of Turning Point Foundation and a pioneer in Mental Health Foundation (MHF), and has experience managing shelters.
Lee said authorities could not find a better qualified person to manage the shelter on behalf of Government.
The shelter will be based in “a small hotel” that was empty before Irma and received some damage during Irma, but is in the process of being repaired. The shelter will be equipped with a minimum of three washer and dryer facilities and will have a facility manager, administrative workers, social workers, chefs, cleaners and 24/7 security on premises.
Dr. Arndell’s services will include preparation of the shelter and its programme, including preparing a programme description, implementation guidelines and establishment of documented living guidelines for residents. Persons who occupy the shelter will be required to sign an agreement establishing the shelter rules and regulations.
She will also manage the relocation process and assignment of appropriate units for families. In the shelter, Arndell will decide who goes into what accommodation.
Lee said the shelter will offer a complete programme and will not just be a place where persons can go and live. All the furniture in the shelter will be new, “but it will also come with the psychological support that everyone needs.”
Dr. J. Foundation will also execute a reintegration programme. Besides counselling, the Foundation will help to reintegrate shelter residents into community by working with other government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to make that transition as seamless as possible.
Lee said he is happy that authorities are able to provide a decent living solution for persons in the community who were impacted by Hurricane Irma.