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Home’s help making big impact on island’s homeless

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Denise Carey, CEO and executive director of Home, with Jean-Ann Hayward, Home head of operations. (Photograph supplied)

A charity aimed at helping the homeless in Bermuda has opened its new headquarters in North Hamilton to offer clients a “triage and care-management centre”.

Denise Carey, CEO and executive director of Home, said: “As we approach the end of our first full year, Home’s plan is becoming reality and we are delivering real impact on individual lives and the challenges of homelessness on our island.

“Most significantly, we are helping people who have encountered both recent and long-time setbacks to re-establish themselves and re-enter the mainstream.

“Our message is, you are welcome here and we will work with you to find solutions.”

The recently leased headquarters, Black Circle on Union Street, includes eight beds, a kitchen and communal indoor and outdoor areas for clients, along with the charity’s administrative offices.

A spokeswoman said that the new base of operations will allow case managers to work with incoming clients to provide immediate assessment, followed by eight weeks of temporary shelter and care management.

Clients facing “emergency homelessness” will be linked to resources and provided with time-limited financial support.

Home was formally launched on September 30 last year, and has since worked with the Government along with other charities and non-governmental agencies to help to create a plan to tackle the issue of homelessness.

The charity said that 555 people were identified as homeless at the end of 2021, compared to just 138 in the 2016 Census.

Since its launch, Home has registered 397 people for assistance, including 92 people who are receiving “intensive case-management support”.

The charity said it has also helped 34 people through a 12-month transitional programme intended to move them from sleeping rough to sustainable, independent living.

“Of these, ten have graduated and 83 per cent are successfully rebuilding relationships with estranged family,” the spokeswoman said.

She added that the charity had helped to prevent 50 cases of homelessness, launched a website and liaised with social services networks to connect the homeless with resources.

The charity will also transition residents out of Messina House in Sandys, which was offered for use as a temporary living centre by Wedco last December.

The spokeswoman said: “They will be accommodated through a variety of options starting in the next two weeks, including independent living in privately owned apartments and reunification with families.

“Several have found employment or secured temporary financial assistance.”

Arthur Wightman, Home founder and chairman, thanked Wedco for its support of the fledgeling charity.

He said: “The size of Messina House and its current need for significant capital improvements make it unviable for Home going forward, but we appreciate the efforts of all our stakeholders, especially those businesses in the West End that have given us resources, employment opportunities and financial support.”

Those who are interested in assisting the charity’s work can contact Home on 599-9933 or e-mail info@home.bm.

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Published July 19, 2022 at 8:00 pm (Updated July 19, 2022 at 7:54 pm)

Home’s help making big impact on island’s homeless

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