Categorized | National News

“PEOPLE ARE HURTING”—Charities under seige

In a stagnant  economy, with  a moratorium on hiring and the constant layoffs  of workers have  all been contributing factors to the hard  economic times for many Bahamians.  Due to this,  local charities and shelters have all seen an increase in numbers of persons needing assistance, particularly this Christmas season.

“Over the last couple of years we’ve seen an increase in the amount of persons that have come to us for some type of assistance,  whether its food, shelter or persons seeking jobs and counsel,” Bishop Walter Hanchell of Great Commission Ministries told The Bahama Journal.

Bishop Hanchell  says “the feeding programme  has really increased. We have a couple hundred persons that come to us every day.  We’ve observed that they come here from all over New Providence, not just in the inner city.

“People come here from the East, even some from the West, who have no jobs, no food in the house, no income and they need help.”

During the Christmas season Great Commission Ministries experiences an increase  in  people needing help. “This is the time when people really, really need help because this is a special time of the year, Christmas time, when people think about their situation,” Bishop  Hanchell explained.

Although the government provides some financial allowances, Great Commission needs further funding, as they are underfunded, according to the Bishop.

“People are hurting and we need to be properly funded.  We get help from the government and we appreciate that, but that needs to be increased.  We need more help from the private sector.

“We do have some very faithful donors that support us and we are so every grateful and thankful for that,” the Bishop stated.

To aid in generating more funding for the charity, Bishop Hanchell informed the Bahama Journal of a ‘Live to Give’ programme he and his wife Elder Minalee Hanchell have  launched.

“In  this program, we are asking if everybody can give thirty dollars or one hundred dollars a month.

“Such donations can sustain us in helping the hundreds of persons that come to us every single day looking for some sort of help,” Mr. Hanchell added.

Mr. Hanchell said that Great Commission has an abundance of clothing as persons constantly donate clothing, but what is really needed is funds and food.

The Bahamas Red Cross has an annual operational budget of  between five hundred thousand and five and fifty hundred thousand dollars.

“We get an annual grant from the government payable twice a year in the amount of thirty thousand dollars for each payment and that goes towards our meals on wheels as well as to provide assistance to our annual budget,” The Director General of The Bahamas Red Cross, Caroline Turnquest told The Bahama Journal.

The Red Cross has seen an increase this year as well of persons coming in for assistance with their daily living needs.

“Persons come in looking for assistance in food parcels, hygiene products, cleaning supplies, and bed linen such as sheets and pillow cases; at this particular time mostly  blankets.

Furthermore, Ms. Turnquest said the family islands need more assistance as well.  She said  her team will now start to focus their financial endeavours on Grand Bahama and Abaco, because their fund raising initiatives are as lucrative as New Providence.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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