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TLC charity prepares to see off ‘high-flying’ single mothers

Elaine Butterfield, advisory board chairwoman and Geraldgene Cann, case manager at the Transformational Living Centre for Families (Photograph by Alva Solomon)

A group of single mothers who benefited from empowerment services provided by the Transformational Living Centre for Families are preparing to face life on their own.

Since opening its doors in 2022, the centre has assisted 11 families, with the charity reporting a successful programme thus far.

The women spend a year at the facility, which offers accommodation for a homeless mother and three children.

The women enrol in the charity’s empowerment programme as part of the settling arrangement.

There are now 11 children living with their mothers in the present cohort of families at the centre.

Elaine Butterfield, chair of the board of the TLC, said the charity is looking to partner with organisations “so that when our moms graduate they would have affordable housing”.

Ms Butterfield said the TLC has already partnered with the charity Home in a programme in which one of the mothers will be eligible for accommodation through the Bermuda Housing Corporation.

Ending homelessness

The Royal Gazette, in conjunction with stakeholders including Home, has launched its Ending Homelessness campaign to remind the community that the homeless matter.

Home, and others, want to end homelessness. So do we. We want your support. We want you to change your perception of the homeless. We want you to help lobby for simple changes. We want you to show compassion.

Homeless people want to work so that they may be self-sufficient. They did not choose to be homeless, and in many cases their plight was brought about by systemic failings in this country.

Home has produced a report, Plan to End Homelessness, which is out for consultation and points to issues and solutions to the homelessness problem in Bermuda. It can be seen in Related Media.

The women are all employed and some are pursuing their academic goals.

Ms Butterfield said: “We have high-flyers, which proves to us that giving a helping hand, and a hand up and not necessarily a handout, works tremendously in their lives.”

She said one of the women was completing her General Educational Development exams.

She noted that many of them have successfully completed courses offered through the economic development corporation. Some have also finished studies at the Bermuda College.

She said: “There are two moms, since they have been at the Transformational Centre, they have become managers in their employment”.

Ms Butterfield added that multiple factors went into measuring the success of the programme.

“What success looks like to us is that mom is in a far better place than she was when she came here, and able to sustain her family with a changed mindset, with more life skills, with the education she needs.”

She said many of the mothers have showcased their potential with the support provided by the centre.

“One of our moms has become a nursing aide and she is now moving on to be a full nurse and we have one mom who is a caregiver and is moving on to be a registered nurse.

“We have some really incredible success stories.”

She said the centre “is not an emergency housing shelter”.

“This is not for the person who just needs some place to stay until they get on their feet. This is a programme, in other words, they can come and they will have some place to stay up to 12 months.”

However, she said the mothers would also be “immersed” in the charity’s empowerment programme.

“What we do is we look at the root cause of the homelessness.

“They undergo a strenuous assessment.”

Ms Butterfield said that self-sustainability was among of the core issues delivered in its transformational support services.

She said: “The generational trauma that they have been through, we are helping them to understand how to establish healthy relationships in their lives, budgeting and financing, parenting, eating healthy.”

Geraldgene Cann, case manager at the TLC, said the charity assisted the mothers “to get back on track”.

Ms Cann said the TLC received calls almost daily from families headed by single mothers indicating interest in the charity’s programme.

She said she kept in touch with the mothers to assess their needs, including housing.

“We have a process where we do an intake, an intake assessment and that's how we start off.”

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Published April 16, 2024 at 7:56 am (Updated April 16, 2024 at 8:33 am)

TLC charity prepares to see off ‘high-flying’ single mothers

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