PHILIPSBURG- 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 honour 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 tune of 253,000 guilders (USD 141,000) 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.