During planning stages, every effort is being made to design a green building which incorporates the following features:
• passive cooling elements related to solar and prevailing wind orientation (particularly during the summer), appropriate insulation, sufficient roof overhangs, vertical gardens to provide both food and to shade walls, appropriate ventilation, etc.
• solar panels and solar water heating
• wastewater recycling through a “wetland” type environment to purify it before being released into nature.
Importantly, the structure will be constructed from material
and skills that are readily accessible on Exuma, so the building could be used to showcase to Exumians what is possible.
The children's shelter will have separate sleeping spaces for up to six boys and six girls, a common living space, and an apartment for a Bahamas Department of Social Services qualified “house parent.” When not in use for it's primary purpose, the children's space could also be used by visiting college students, researchers, etc. – people's whose work is designed to benefit the Exuma community. It is anticipated that children would obtain therapeutic benefit from access to and engagement in activities on our campus like the nearby permaculture garden.
We have an amazing amount of support for this project so far covering approximately 80% of the cost of the building construction through our partners Starve Poverty International, the Exuma Foundation (both U.S. and Canadian Boards), and Mr. Harry Carlson, whose wife Marge was a founder of our organization. We also have a donation of a solar system already in place.
Our fundraiser is therefore focused on "the finishing touches" that will make our shelter functional as quickly as possible. Our needs include funding for furniture, appliances, rainwater tanks and gutters, plumbing and bathroom facilities, solar water heating units, and expert labor and assistance for installation of our solar electricity system.
Will you help us, help those who are most vulnerable in our community?
The Marjorie M. Carlson Children's Shelter is a response by the Exuma Foundation, our partners at Starve Poverty International and the Department of Social Services to meet the community need of a safe housing situation for children on the island. Our experience in providing assistance to the most impoverished Exumians has helped us to determine that a shelter would be most useful for temporary situations that would keep children on the island instead of relocating them to overcrowded shelters in Nassau. Our fundraising efforts have us off to a great start so far, but we need more resources to complete the project.