Women who finish TLC programme could be a resource to help other families
Women who complete a live-in programme designed to give them stability and get their lives back on track could help future residents at the home in years to come.
Edonna Bean, the executive director of the Transformational Living Centre for Families, said she hoped that a sense of achievement would be passed on.
Ms Bean said: “Success, for me, will look like, in five years, that would be five sets of families, they would be independently living to the best of their ability, with their new norm, with an elevation and to come back and extend a hand to someone else.
“I believe if you’re able to elevate you have to look back and extend your hand, because ‘I may be that strength for the next person’.
“I’m hoping that when our guests leave here they are not only leaving here, feeling more positive and able-bodied, I want them to leave knowing that, ‘if I can do, I can tell the next person that they can as well’.”
It is hoped that the home on Parson’s Road in Pembroke will welcome its first group of mothers and their children at the end of the month.
The TLC will open at 50 per cent capacity – five families – to allow for Covid-19 measures including space for quarantine if needed.
Elaine Butterfield, the TLC project team leader, said that potential residents underwent a comprehensive assessment to check their suitability.
She added that daily activities will include the transformational support services programme, which first ran as a pilot scheme through the Women’s Resource Centre.
Sessions on career readiness and critical thinking will be provided as well as seminars about women’s health and parenting skills.
Ms Butterfield said: “They will have webinars and talks on understanding money, how to raise boys to become men, self awareness and self esteem, how to reinvent yourself.
“They will be doing Scars training, CPR training, how to dress for success, among other things.”
Legal clinic webinars will also be offered to cover topics such as understanding protection orders.
Ms Butterfield said: “The programme at the Transformational Living Centre will be for the guests.
“However, that same transformational support services programme will be run for women in the community at the Women’s Resource Centre.”
She added that there will be a “an inclusive, affordable cost” to live at the TLC for the duration of the 12-month TLC residential programme, but that support would come from funding, sponsorship and the Department of Financial Assistance.
Ms Bean said that residents would be welcomed to their new home with traditional Bermudian cuisine to help them settle in.
She explained: “When they come, let’s take it back to what’s familiar, something that is safe, something that brings about pleasantries.”
Ms Bean added she also wanted to give the first families “Christmas in January” because it was hoped earlier that they would move in last month.
She said: “Food is the staple for so many conversations and it breaks barriers that may not be visible, but definitely exist.”
Ms Bean explained that daily routines at the TLC will include assigned chores, supported by a member of staff.
Women will be encouraged to set personal goals each day as well as to think about gratitude, self care and positive traits.
Group sessions might include art or culinary therapy and other seminars could focus on communication and relaxation techniques.
Ms Bean said that there would be free time in the afternoons, which would allow for recreational activities and personal tasks and so that mothers can be with children when they return from school.
Evenings are expected to include recap sessions for the adults as well as story time for the children.
Ms Butterfield said a special programme for the children living at the TLC would be organised.
She added: “We also have two child clinical psychologists who will be working along with us to address the children’s needs as well as to give insight on the programmes for the children.”
Ms Butterfield admitted: “This programme is not for everyone.
“It’s not for someone looking for some place to live – it’s for someone who has housing insecurity, but also is looking for the opportunity to improve themselves.
“We have the support in order to help them achieve that.”
The TLC will open with a strict set of rules to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission.
A few items remain on the centre’s “wish list” to make sure it is ready to welcome residents.
The list included about five rugs and some side tables for bedrooms, as well as a desk for the reception area.
For more information, visit the TLC website atwww.tlc.bm. To donate or help with wish list items, contact Ms Bean by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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