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Homeless back on the streets centre closes

Most of the homeless people sheltered in the Government's emergency centre over the Covid-19 pandemic are back on the streets after it closed, it was revealed yesterday.

Kathy Lynn Simmons, a senator and the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, said at the Upper House session that 95 per cent of those surveyed remained in need of a roof over their heads.

The emergency accommodation, at first at the Berkeley Institute and later at CedarBridge Academy, was occupied by between 19 and 50 people from March 29 to July 20.

Ms Simmons said: “Most of the individuals are considered to be chronically homeless — living on the streets for years.

“To this end all occupants were provided with the admission criteria and expectations to obtain a bed at The Salvation Army male night shelter.

“Four of the occupants required assistance with their mental health and have been connected or reconnected with the services at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute.

“Those occupants identified as having complex medical needs were assisted in obtaining indigent status so that they can continue to be seen by the medical doctor that they were connected with while at the shelter.

“This will ensure that they are able to continue to obtain the medication prescribed, as well as have continued access to healthcare and monitoring.”

Ms Simmons added: “All residents left the shelter with information of feeding programmes across the island and the feeding schedule of the Salvation Army.”

Ms Simmons thanked individual donors, companies and organisations that offered support to the shelters, as well as the team from government departments and agencies.

Ms Simmons said: “You would be aware that people who find themselves homeless include some of the most vulnerable in our society and the government remains committed to ensuring they receive the help they need through programmes at the Nelson Bascome Substance Abuse Treatment Centre and the Turning Point substance abuse programme under the Bermuda Hospitals Board.

She added: “The government also recognises that local helping organisations and charities face challenges, with more people seeking help and often with complex reasons behind their homelessness.

“The Ministry of Legal Affairs provided grant funding to the Salvation Army, Pathways Bermuda, and Focus Counselling Services and will continue to work with the third sector in their efforts to support this sector of our community.”

Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published July 23, 2020 at 1:01 pm (Updated July 23, 2020 at 1:01 pm)

Homeless back on the streets centre closes

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