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Charity plans to expand reach to more homeless in 2023 Loop Barbados

Black Immigrant Daily News

The Barbados Alliance to End Homelessness (BAEH) reports that more young women with children sought assistance during 2022.

According to statistics gathered by the BAEH, the charity saw 191 new persons affected by homelessness in 2022, of which 42 were females and 62 children.

The amount of homeless males exceeds females, however, the organisation saw a number of young women with children and babies during the year.

Nevertheless, BAEH Kemar Saffrey says the organisation successfully delivered key services to those in need.

Saffrey stated that the BAEH was able to fully resume rehabilitative/reintegration programmes, following the pause caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With a number of the restrictions lifted, we were able to successful start looking at the rehabilitation of the homeless again and placing them back into mainstream society through rehabilitative programmmes focusing on counselling, mentorship, developing coping skills and we also worked with them by providing vocational and skill-based training programmes as well as family programmes, to rehabilitate and reintegrate them.

So I think that in terms of our successes, we can really look and say that we are really moving towards transforming the lives of the homeless community once again and seeing such persons placed back into mainstream society,” Saffrey remarked.

The BAEH statistics also revealed that beds at the Homeless Shelter in Spry Street, Bridgetown were used over 50, 000 in 2022. Additionally, more than 9,000 feedings were held.

Most of the homeless clients who sought assistance in 2022 were drawn from sites such as Independence Square, Heroes Square and Jubilee Gardens, as well as from Queen’s Park, the Bay Street Esplanade and local beaches.

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The data also indicated that although an “overwhelming majority” of the homeless were Barbadian, there were individuals from Guyana, United States of America, Germany, St Lucia, Trinidad and St Vincent, who received assistance from the BAEH. The organisation also helped deportees and visitors who overstayed their welcome due to COVID-19.

The BAEH Clients’ Needs Assessment identified that while there is the homeless clients desired food and clothing, there was a need for housing and shelter, family counselling, adult educational classes and personal development courses, job training and money management as well as health care services for those seeking to rehabilitate and reintegrate.

BAEH has expressed plans to expand its programmes and services this new year, fulfilling its vision to “to create a caring and stimulating environment, where homeless persons are given optimal opportunities, to transition back to self-sufficiency”.