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.
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.
Already, our project has had an impact on the community, providing jobs and by continuing an important relationship between the Exuma Foundation and our partners, Starve Poverty, who have consistently provided assistance for those struggling to meet basic needs. Darville Lumber Co. and Mark Turnquest Construction have provided invaluable support and leadership through the construction process.
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). Our funding needs are therefore focused on "the finishing touches" that will make our shelter functional as quickly as possible. Our needs include donations of 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.
Thank you for your interest! We appreciate any support you can offer to help us meet this critical need on Exuma. If you would like to contribute you can donate through our PayPal account, or by contacting our U.S. or Canadian charities. We are available by phone or email if you would like to get in touch to learn more.
Visit our Get Involved page for more information.