At-risk families ‘need help now more than ever’ – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

Log In

Reset Password

At-risk families ‘need help now more than ever’

A charity chairwoman and veteran child welfare campaigner said that the scale of the Covid-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of how much work was still needed to help struggling families.

Sheelagh Cooper added that a transitional living centre, expected to open later this year, would have made a significant difference to at-risk mothers and children in the pandemic crisis.

The Habitat for Humanity of Bermuda chairwoman said: “This is a time to remember that for many of our families here in Bermuda, the idea of ‘sheltering in place' has an entirely different meaning.

“For some, this too often means bunking in with many other families in often derelict or dangerous conditions, perhaps with broken windows, leaky roofs or mildew-infested conditions.

“These are often households headed by parents with marginal employment, low wages and are the very ones now no longer employed at all.”

Ms Cooper added: “While many of us stock up at the grocery stores, these families continue to suffer the insecurity of when the next food source will present itself.

“These are the families with whom we partner. They are going to need our hand up now more than ever.”

The charity is aiming to restore neighbourhoods one home at a time through a programme of renovations.

Ms Cooper explained: “At Habitat, we have worked hard since 2000 to address the often-overwhelming challenge of shoring up the supply of adequate, yet affordable, housing.

“But it is times like this that we realise just how insignificant our contribution has been, compared to the magnitude of the task at hand.”

Ms Cooper said: “We are working hard to complete the renovations necessary to open the Transformational Living Centre for Families — a project we are doing jointly with the Women's Resource Centre.

“We are still several months away from opening our doors. I only wish it was ready to accept families right now, as it would have made such a difference to many.”

Work is under way at the former Pembroke Rest Home to make it a residential centre for a maximum of ten families, who would live there for up to a year while they are involved in programmes and services.

Ms Cooper said the TLC for Families was created because of the need for accommodation and support to help young women to get their lives back on track.

She added: “We have had tremendous support already from the community and have been blessed with scores of offers of help from local suppliers, which has made a huge difference to the cost of the project.

“The more support we receive, the sooner we will be able to open our doors. We would greatly appreciate your help.”

Donations can be made to Habitat for Humanity of Bermuda through HSBC bank account 006-053177-001

From left: Sheelagh Cooper, the chairwoman of Habitat for Humanity of Bermuda, and Elaine Butterfield, the Women's Resource Centre executive director, at the location for the Transformational Living Centre for Families. (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published March 27, 2020 at 3:12 pm (Updated March 27, 2020 at 3:12 pm)

At-risk families ‘need help now more than ever’

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon