Residents at the Safe Haven Transitional Centre are staying longer at the halfway house, due to economic and other challenges, Acting Director of the Centre Nellville George – Broustorph has said.
According to the Acting Director, the centre is currently full with some residents living there since the 2017 hurricanes.
“Right now we are rotating between 14 and 15 plus our out-patients. Right now the centre is currently full because we did have some persons coming in after the hurricanes of 2017; persons lost their homes, we have sometimes persons in the community who are abandoned by family members and sometimes family members may not know how to deal with somebody who has a chronic mental illness so they come here,” she told members of the media recently.
She added: “Because of financial challenges also, persons are not able to go back into the community to pay rent, so we have persons who are here. So unfortunately we are at our capacity just because of the state of the territory, persons coming are not being able to transition out as in the years past.
In the meantime, she said some of the residents are being assisted by the Ministry of Health and Social Development with housing repairs and in some cases new homes.
“We have a few residents who are definitely on the list that we are working right now on seeing how homes can possibly be built; I know there have been talks of different homes being built in different areas, and some residents who are here are definitely on that list and are being considered.”
She said in the past, residents of the shelter have received assistance in repairing their homes who were living temporarily at the centre.
The Acting Director also mentioned that for persons in the community who are having challenges because of COVID-19 or because of unemployment, they can contact the Social Development Department and the department will assist.
However, the centre would be the last resort if there is space available, she stated.
Further, to be part of the Centre, the individual would have to be classified as “chronically homeless” and all other avenues explored.
She further informed that typically, residents are expected to transition out between six months to a year and up to two years based on a needs assessment, but due to the current economic climate, “we have persons living here long term,” since the 2017 hurricanes.
She made it clear that there has been no one coming to the facility solely because of the impact of COVID-19 but because of a combination of circumstances.