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Halfway House for TCI’s Substance Abuse Ex-cons

Dierin Longmire (right), President of the Turks and Caicos Islands Drug Prevention Foundation and Edith Skippings (left), Vice President of that body, share a photo op with President of the Premier’s Cup Golf Tournament, who present them with a cheque that will go towards the work of that organization.

Photo: Vivian Tyson

The Turks and Caicos Islands Drug Prevention Foundation is in the process constructing a halfway house for alcoholics and other substance abusers who have been released from prison.

The facility is located along the South Dock Main Road on Providenciales.

Dierin Longmire, President of the organization explained that the construction of the facility had reached the roof stage, and with much-needed funding, should be finished soon.

“We are trying to build a halfway house, where we can help the addicts and alcoholics of the Turks and Caicos Islands, they would have another way of finding a new way of life, when we can give them a transitioning period after they come out of jail or if they are pre-sentenced and things like that,” Longmire stated.

The halfway house, which has been renamed ‘New Beginning’, from its previous name ‘Second Change’, is geared, according to Longmire, to give that demographic the well-needed support so as to reengage them in society.

The halfway house is under roof now, and now we need the raise of funds to start getting into the interior. We had to change the name from ‘Second Chance’ to ‘New Beginning’, so if you see that (organization) now, it will say ‘New Beginning’,” Longmire further explained.

She said assisting those persons to re-assimilate in society is the main goal of the entity through a 12-step programme, stating that the programme would provide, among other things, psychological and psychiatric assistance, noting also that the facility would be family-oriented.

“The halfway house will provide them with preparation to be reunited with the community and be able to sustain themselves. We are going to help people find jobs. We are going to go into a 12-step programme. They will be able to get psychiatric evaluation, psychological help, if they need it.

“We will be having family centres, where they can bring their families in and have counselling for their families, because after they have been in jail or something like that, for all these years, they need to be reunited,” she further noted.

In the meantime, Longmire praised the work of the committee over the past eight years, saying that the persons on the committee, including Vice President, Edith Skippings, have been a tower of strength.

“That is what we have been trying to do. Edith and I have been serving on this committee for about the last eight years. It is a well-deserved committee, and I love everybody that had been part of it, and it has been a great experience,” Longmire continued.

She was speaking recently at the Premier’s Cup Golf Tournament’s charity presentation, where three charities were awarded funds to continue their impact on society. Aside from the Drug Prevention Unit, the other charities were the Turks and Caicos Islands Cadet Corps and the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Programme.

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