In March 2014, the Ministry of Home Affairs asked the National Drug Council to facilitate an
evaluation of The Bridge Foundation.
This evaluation was conducted to include, but was not limited to; determining any impact the program has had on current and past participants; helping to prioritise resources; providing information on the effects, possible limitations, or strengths of the program; addressing any needs for additional or continued funding; indicating any potential problems that can avert problems and recommending improvements.
The Bridge Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental and non- denominational, Section 80 Company Registered in the Cayman Islands. It provides transitional (or "halfway house")
accommodation to recovering addicts for alcohol and other drugs. Their Mission is to provide
Transitional Housing facilities founded upon value for money, transparency and accountability.
This is accomplished through public and private donations which they actively solicit.
The Bridge Foundation promotes sober structured living, educational opportunities, life skills development, self-determination, independence, physical and mental well-being and spiritual development.
There is no doubt that the halfway houses established by the Bridge Foundation are critical and importantly positioned within the continuum of care for treatment and provides a safe and supportive transitional environment to individuals in need of such housing. Studies and
literature have continuously underpinned the need for such initiatives in the process of re-
integration. In the Cayman Islands The Bridge Foundation (BF) assumes the third step/stage in the intervention process for clients in need of this service (stage one is identifying and accepting that problematic drug use exist – stage two is successfully completing treatment – and stage three is participating in a transitional living environment to support re-integration).
In another context, stage one can be release from incarceration – stage two is placement and success from residential treatment – and stage three is participating in a 24 hour
transitional living environment to support re-integration). Essentially it is recognized that
transitional living is a key ingredient in any successful programme whose objectives
include, reducing recidivism (criminal or drug use), promoting re-socialization and reintegration and improving prospects for employment.
Transitional/half-way housing is a critical component of recovery and very often a missing component in our communities. “Understanding the need for safe housing for both men and women in the Cayman Islands, The Bridge Foundation is committed to facilitating the transition of men and women from treatment programmes and other institutions successfully back into our communities. We are pleased with the decision of the Planning Authorities who visited and met with us and the subsequent removal of the enforcement which will now allow for the continuation of services at the women’s house,” says Bod Volinsky, Operations Manager. The evaluation recognises the strength of the Bridge Foundation that includes the following:
An acceptable management structure
A named Board of Directors for the Foundation that provides the strategic direction, oversight and provides for accountability
The operations are in conformity with acceptable standards of operation. There are set residency guidelines and expectations as well as confidentiality requirements that conform to international standards, such as: the clients must be drug and alcohol free; subjected to random drug and alcohol testing at any time, with or without cause; attendance at weekly house meetings; be employed or actively seeking employment, etc.
The accounts of the BF are audited annually and a report submitted for scrutiny. From a Governance perspective, one of the hallmarks of this programme is its transparency policy ...”the policy of the company in relation to its financial affairs are that; (1) nobody should profit from its activities, and (2) interested parties should be entitled to see, and if necessary have explained to them its then-current financial conditions and details of its income and expenditure.
At the same time, the evaluation report acknowledges the challenges that the programme faces, which include:
Providing for and sustaining the food voucher component of the programme.
Leased properties as opposed to owned
Inconsistent revenue stream inhibits long-range financial planning.
Possible policy complications regarding service provision.
Stereotypes and prejudices possibly complicating service provision
Expansion may create additional burden
We know from the data that many of our offenders have a history of drug and alcohol related offences. In addition, over 75% of offenders are Caymanian or have Caymanian Status that signals a return back into communities in the Cayman Islands. We must therefore accept and ensure that we are seeking to provide a continuum of care and services that are going to support the transition back to community and reduce re-offending. The NDC is pleased to have been able to facilitate this process evaluation and looks forward to continued work with the Bridge Foundation and the ongoing monitoring and oversight of such programmes and processes.
For more information about the National Drug Council, check us out at www.ndc.ky and like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NDCCayman! If you have any questions/queries email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 949-9000. For more information on the Bridge Foundation, contact us by phone (345) 926-4053 and email email@example.com