LEFT OUT TO DRY: Shelter for HIV/AIDS residents in dire straits as donations drop 70% amid pandemic

LEFT OUT TO DRY: Shelter for HIV/AIDS residents in dire straits as donations drop 70% amid pandemic
(FILE)

All Saints Camp dealt “major blow” with dramatic drop in funding assistance, missionary work on pause and lack of staffing

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The All Saints Camp, a refuge for individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDs, has seen donations and contributions drop a whopping 65 to 70 percent since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to administrators.

Over the weekend, administrators told Eyewitness News: “We have next to nothing coming in.”

According to Kasha Forbes, the camp that was founded in 1986 by Dr Glenroy Nottage has been dealt a “major blow” due to the pandemic and has struggled to meet its operational needs. 

Some of the individuals here, their family members drop them off and say they would pay their rent monthly and we never see them again.

– Kasha Forbes, All Saints Camp

“We are a non-profit and so we rely heavily on contributions and assistance. That has dropped 65 to 70 percent since the pandemic started. We have almost nothing coming in. There is definitely a need for funding,” said Forbes, who, along with a small team, volunteers time to cater to the 32 residents at the camp.

Forbes said that while the camp receives a stipend from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Services twice a year, there is a major need for funding assistance. 

“We are short-staffed. There is no one else to help with the day-to-day processes as we would need,” said Forbes.

“Some of the individuals here, their family members drop them off and say they would pay their rent monthly and we never see them again.

“We are not going to just put them out. We want people to know that not just because they made some choices in their lives that they now have no one else to turn to. We don’t know when chickens will knock at our own door. We have to be compassionate.”

We have missionaries come in from the US to help out and some locals as well. Since COVID, they haven’t been able to come.

– Kasha Forbes, All Saints Camp

She noted that a few of the camp’s residents collect National Insurance Board (NIB) assistance, which the camp uses, and some of its residents pay a $400 monthly fee.

Forbes acknowledged that the camp is in dire need of repairs, noting that the pandemic has paused the visitation and work of missionaries out of the United States who would often undertake such work. 

“We have missionaries come in from the US to help out and some locals as well. Since COVID, they haven’t been able to come,” said Forbes.

“It’s usually about 80 to 100 people. When they come, we don’t have to [buy] food for the persons here to eat as they take care of that. They interact with the patients and do so much more.

“Not having them come is a huge blow. They help with the cleaning of the property. The yard has become really overgrown and they also help to rebuild and repair the buildings.”