Charity helps homeless leave barns, beaches, cars and parks
More than 620 people experienced homelessness on the island this year, a charity reported yesterday.
Home said help from its supporters meant that people were moved from barns, beaches and cars to indoors.
The charity added that among its efforts to address the problem, 52 cases of homelessness have ended, with rough sleepers moved to independent living.
Denise Carey, its executive director, said: “We have met so many people struggling for support this year while living outside, and thanks to the support we’ve received, they have been able to leave barns, beaches, cars and parks, to move inside.
“The journey is not easy, but it is necessary. We encourage every resident of Bermuda to join us and assist this effort in any way.”
Home said that since the start of this year it identified more than 620 people who experienced homelessness on the island and prevented more than 70 cases of homelessness through liaison with government agencies and other non-profit services.
Intensive case management supported 62 people who were previously homeless.
A total of 620 clients were registered for assistance.
Home launched in September 2021 to end homelessness in Bermuda and 555 people were identified as homeless at the end of that year.
A spokeswoman said: “Since then, it has worked closely with the Bermuda Government, non-governmental agencies, charities, philanthropies, and the religious and wider local community, promoting inter-agency co-operation and co-ordination among all the island’s services to tackle homelessness.”
Arthur Wightman, the charity’s chairman, added: “The current cost-of-living crisis is forcing Bermudians to make impossible decisions, increasing the risk of many more finding themselves in a state of homelessness.
“Yet, within this desperate context, we find reasons for optimism.
“Our clients are working hard to build better lives for themselves and they have demonstrated that, with the right support, they can find their rightful place as contributing members of our community.”
He said: “We are thankful for everyone who has leaned in to our mission, including donors, volunteers, government and non-government agencies, and members of the community who want change and are prepared to do something about it.
“As we move forward, it is my sincere hope this initial support quickly becomes an impassioned community demanding permanent change and justice.”
The spokeswoman said that Home delivered two core goals this year thanks to support from donors.
These included: “Implementation of a data-driven, cloud-based case management system to facilitate collaboration between all agency stakeholders by gathering insights and administering delivery of support to clients.
“The new co-ordinated system ensures real-time data is gathered to help effectively allocate resources, services and programmes and allows case workers to quickly identify, assess and refer people to appropriate programmes and services.”
She said the second key achievement was: “Continued development of a single plan to end homelessness.
“The plan, in liaison with other agencies and supported by the Ministry of Social Development and Seniors, connects all stakeholders working in the sphere, to ensure every agency delivers on mutual goals.”
Organisations that helped Home in 2022 included:
Aeolus Capital Management
Butterfield & Vallis
Bank of Butterfield
Bermuda High School for Girls
Bermuda is Love
Red Day by real estate agents
St Paul's AME Church
Ms Carey added: “We are so grateful to members of our community who have supported our collective effort to raise awareness around the tragedy of homelessness in Bermuda, and have shared love through phone calls, baked goods and donations — from vital financial support to gifts of pillows, sheets and household items.”
A Home spokeswoman said that philanthropic foundations and trusts supported the charity, including:
Bermuda Community Foundation
Buchanan Friendship Foundation
Friends of Christ Church Warwick Trust
She added: “As well, Home has benefited from the generosity of individual donors and family offices who have stepped forward in meaningful ways to play their part in ending homelessness, as well as both the Anglican Cathedral and Christ Church Warwick feeding programmes.
“Tremendous support has also been received from the West End Development Corporation and the Bermuda Industrial Union, along with donations of gifts in kind from the St George’s Club, H & H Plumbing, and The Hustle Truck.”
She said: “We thank our landlords who have joined this important effort to house Bermuda’s vulnerable and are working with us.
"Every contribution has allowed us to deliver on our mission and strengthen our commitment to end homelessness in Bermuda.”
• To help Home, donations can be made atwww.home.bm/donate, by e-mailing email@example.com or by calling 599-9932.