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Home for women and children to open by the end of the month

Edonna Bean, the executive director of the Transformational Living Centre for Families (Photograph supplied)

Running a home to help women and their children is a dream come true for the service’s first executive director, she said.

Edonna Bean said: “This appointment is not a job for me … this is a dream coming to fruition for me.

“To be chosen to be of service to my community in this capacity is humbling.

“Just as we can see this centre as a Transformational Living Centre for the guests that will have the pleasure to live there, it’s going to be for me as well, and also for the staff that will be there to be of service to our guests.

“It’s going to be transforming in so many different ways.”

Ms Bean was speaking after she started her role at the Transformational Living Centre for Families this week.

Ms Bean, a former support worker and nursing assistant, said: “The community at large will see the shift, we will see the generational cycles being shifted from a negative to a positive.”

She explained that her experience as a foster parent for ten years as well as her time working in the hospital’s detox unit showed her how families could be affected by difficult circumstances.

Ms Bean added that about 15 years ago she started to think about how a “bridge” could be set up to help mothers who loved their children but were affected by problems usually beyond their control.

She discussed the idea with her husband and it included a “safe supported environment” for women to develop skills and for children to engage with their parents.

The TLC was designed to tackle homelessness among families with children.

Its website said that “a safe and secure home” would be provided for up to a year.

The centre will offer “educational programmes that create self-sufficiency and the ability to thrive” as well as courses designed to aid “healing and empowerment” of its residents.

The TLC was created at the former Pembroke Rest Home on Parson’s Road in a joint effort by Habitat for Humanity of Bermuda and the Women’s Resource Centre.

Ms Bean said: “With the Transformational Living Centre having the buffers in place to propel our guests forward in a more structured, more concrete manner – I’m decreeing that success will be seen.

“How we deem success is the fact that the baseline at which they come and the baseline at which they leave after the 12 months – however that looks for those particular guests, there will be elevation.”

She added: “They’re not only going to be housed and fed, they will also have life skills, things that they just have not had time to really focus on … "

Ms Bean said that her almost 20-years of experience as a case manager for people with learning difficulties would also help in her new role.

She explained: “Many people feel as though when they grow up they’re going to be able to go get employed but in that population it tends to be a bit more limited.

“I find that when we are dealing with our homeless population, people tend to ignore them, people tend to shove them to the side.”

Ms Bean added: “I feel that I will be in a position to navigate through those challenges – the low self esteem, the unsure components … I have the experience to address some of those challenges that may present themselves.”

She said: “What I am committed to, is giving my best.”

Ms Bean said that the TLC for Families was expected to open by the end of this month.

She added that, although the centre can accommodate up to ten families, it would start at 50 per cent capacity “to ensure the best possible safety measures, including isolation capabilities” and expand from there.

Ms Bean said: “We had hoped to open our doors for Christmas, but will be welcoming our guests with the theme ‘Christmas in January’ to ensure that they do not miss out on the joy and peace of having a new home for Christmas.”

A "wish list“ of items still needed to help the centre get up and running includes small furnishings, as well as ironing boards and trash containers.

For more information or to donate, contact Ms Bean on 336-7870 or visit the TLC website at www.tlc.bm.

* To see the list of items, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.

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Published January 07, 2022 at 7:53 am (Updated January 07, 2022 at 7:39 am)

Home for women and children to open by the end of the month

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