Government pays out $0.6 million in grants to local non-profits

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

Christmas was extra special this year for four local non-profit organisations as government issued one-off grants to them, amounting to $642,379 in total.

The grants, which were distributed on 23 Dec., were issued to the National Council of Voluntary Organisations, Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, Hope for Today Foundation, and Meals on Wheels, a Ministry of Investment, Innovation and Social Development statement said.

The extraordinary grants, the statement said, are being made, on a one-off basis, “largely in view of unanticipated circumstances that fall outside the scope of existing funding or purchase agreements that the Ministry has with most of these NPOs”.

Minister André Ebanks said he was pleased to announce the financial support, which were “derived from identified savings” from the ministry.

“These NPOs play a crucial role in our community, providing vital services and assistance to a diverse array of vulnerable people in the Cayman Islands, including children, victims of domestic abuse as well as substance abuse/addiction, and older persons,” he said.

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Ebanks, who also recorded a video message on the grants programme, said, as a result of COVID-19, social development issues have continued to grow.

“Those charitable organizations have more challenges and more expenses to meet. We were able to identify savings in the ministry and we looked at those charitable organizations as they were projecting what their expenses would be next year and thought wait a minute we might be able to help you now,” he said in the video.

NCVO Board Chairman Lauren Nelson expressed gratitude on behalf of the organisation and the children it serves through its foster home and preschool.

“We are so excited to get this funding, which will be used primarily to provide an on-campus security guard 24/7 for the foster home, but also for the preschool, and the bargain shop. It will also fund some much needed renovations to the foster home. The NCVO is truly grateful for this gift, particularly at this time of year,” Nelson said.

The ministry statement outlined the use of the funding and the individual amounts distributed to the NPOs.

The National Council of Voluntary Organisations received $177,379 to fund security measures and urgent repairs to its foster home, for the benefit of the home’s residents, it said.

In the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre’s case, it received $325,000 to fund the construction of an enhanced emergency shelter for its clients, who are women and children in dire situations and potential victims of domestic abuse.

Cayman’s Hope for Today Foundation received $90,000 to fund operating expenses.

“HTF operates a sober living facility for those recovering from substance abuse/addiction, and supports these individuals in their return to being sober and active participants in society. Previously, HTF has received solely private funding, but now is taking on an increased number of clients (some of whom are directed by the Courts). The work performed by HTF with this grant will be monitored by the Ministry and, if desired outputs are produced, the Ministry will aim to enter into a purchase agreement with HTF in 2023,” the statement explained.

To meet current and growing demand for Meals on Wheels services, the NPO was given an extraordinary grant of $50,000 to support its relocation to a new facility and the purchase of new equipment.

The NPO provides hot, nutritious meals to older persons, and others who are homebound in the community, from Monday to Friday, throughout the 52 weeks of the year.

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