The Barbados Alliance to End Homelessness (BAEH) formerly The Barbados Vagrant and Homeless Society (BVHS) was officially launched on February 20, 2010 but has been operational 2008. The organization provides food, clothing, shelter and beneficial rehabilitative homecare housing, life skills programmes for the homeless and vagrant persons across Barbados.
BAEH is governed by a Board of Trustees and managed on a daily basis by an Executive Officer who manages the office where six (6) full- time and three (3) part- time staff are employed. The organization also has a cadre of volunteers who assists with activities in the various programmes it undertakes.
In the past, the organization has managed several projects seeking to reintegrate persons into society and has been successful except on one occasion where one individual reverted to his life on the streets. So it is safe to say that the success rate of BAEH has been over 90% since inception.
BAEH is governed by a Board of Directors who directs the policies and procedures of the organization. The operational duties are managed by a team of professionals lead by the Executive Director. The ED is supported by an Office Manager, Finance/Accounts Officer, Special Projects Officer, Public Relations Officer and Case Manager. These positions are supported by subordinate staff.
BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION
Due to a dearth in information on the situation regarding the homeless and vagrants in the Barbadian society, the BVHS undertook its own research and has identified poverty, drugs, loss/tragedy, financial crisis, divorce, academic failure, domestic violence, deportation, migration, and mental illness as the prime causes leading to homelessness and vagrancy. Increasingly one sees individuals sleeping under cardboard boxes in the city’s alley ways and doorways of various buildings. During the day, these individuals can be seen pushing shopping carts full of debris, dressed in filthy and tattered clothing and looking rather unkempt and dirty. These persons usually do not have access to permanent facilities, if any. BVHS realizes that this can happen to anyone and has provided over 200 persons with food, clothing, job placement, education and health care support. It has been found from this small figure that through counseling and training, it is possible to reintegrate persons and empower them to become productive in society. Through implementation of this programme, BVHS will seek to reduce the number of individuals living on the streets to zero over time.
As part of their rehabilitation into society the participants in this programme will need assistance with food, clothing, housing, counseling for both the individual and their family members, medical services and preparation for employment where required. Homelessness can occur at any point in a person’s life and can be as a result of a myriad of reasons, in an effort to prevent re-entry into the homeless state; BVHS is proposing to undertake some preventative measures as part of the rehabilitation process.
The BVHS has three main programmatic areas that it undertakes to ensure that rehabilitation is as successful as possible. There is the At the Crossroads Programme which seeks to encourage and motivate individuals and give them an insight into the possibilities that can exist. It is an introductory programme that provides nightly accommodation, food, clothing, medical care and counseling. The Direct Care Ministry Programme is the vehicle that BVHS utilizes to provide additional services in the form of preparation for employment, assistance with accommodation needs, a mentorship programme and employment opportunities through partnership with stakeholders in the private sector. The final programme, the Life Opportunity Superseding Tomorrow provides feeding, clothing, counseling and medical care for those individuals who are not yet in either of the other two programmes. It is expected that more than 1,500 persons in total will benefit each year from the efforts of these three programmes.
The success of these objectives will be determined by the graduation’ of 100% of participants from the programme.
The Vision of the BAEH is “the creation of a caring and stimulating environment where vagrants and homeless persons are given optimal opportunities to transition back to self-sufficiency.”
Tel: +1 246-538-2480
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
1st Floor, 62A Tudor Street,