Re-opening Gaston Bell Help Desk
Minister Omar Ottley congratulates the Department Head of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs, Mrs. Chantale George - Groeneveldt and the staff for their hard work and dedication in reopening the Gaston Boasman Community Helpdesk for the Elderly & Disabled in the Hope Estate.
A soft-opening to mark the reopening of Gaston Boasman Help Desk for the Elderly & Disable and Women?s Desk toke place on Friday May 27th at 2:30 pm at Hope Estate. The reopening of the Help desk was celebrated in the presence of dignitaries, stakeholders from Elderly groups and Women?s groups.
At the re-opening a plaque & photo in honor of Mr. Gaston Boasman was unveiled, the philosophy of Women?s Desk logo and a painting by differently abled Albert Arndell.
Unfortunately, the Help Desk was closed as a result of damages sustained during the passing of hurricanes Irma & Maria in 2017. Assistance for the repairs and expansion came from funds received from the Dutch government to the tine of Fls 253,000.- through the Sint Maarten Development Fund.
The building was expanded by approximately 54 square meters with a concrete roof and 46 square meters of a covered open concrete space for recreation and outdoor activities, with expansion possibilities. Works began on 26th November 2018 and were completed by mid-2019; however, due to many unanticipated events and the COVID-19, CDFHA was unable to provide services to the public since the completion of the works.
Currently the Help desk boast a small conference room, 3 office spaces that can be used for individual and groups counseling and sessions, a kitchenette, outdoor guest restrooms to be used during outdoor activities, 2 rest rooms inside, one specially for the elderly and disabled, and one for staff and a storage room.
The Gaston Boasman Help Desks & Women?s Desk is one of 4 Help Desks and a specialized one, managed by the Department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs.
With the new expansion, the Department will be able to run more programs and projects on-site and provide meeting space for NGOs and community organizations. CDFHA would like to thank everyone who has contributed significantly to making this a reality.
The Help Desk will be opened to the general Public from Monday ? Friday as of June 6 from 8:30 am -12:30 pm.
The Help Desk's purpose is to bring diverse services, projects, and programs closer to the local community.
Services offered would be:
- Basic Counseling
- Case Management
- Assisting with filling Social Services forms
- Dissemination of information
- Empowerment programs and information sessions
- Assisting Elderly with accessing services via the internet
- Provide a space for NGO?s to offer their services to the target group