More females being affected by homelessness
Within the last week, the Barbados Alliance to end Homelessness (BAEH) has seen more than ten new females seeking the services of the organization.
In addition, several non-nationals have also been turning up at the doors of the Spry Street shelter, hoping to receive assistance.
This information was disclosed during a press briefing to launch the Adopt-a-Bed campaign on Wednesday at the BAEH Headquarters in The City.
Operations and Case Manager with the BAEH, Kimberly Hinds-Harewood, told the media she believes the increase in demand for the organization’s services stems from word-of-mouth knowledge about the new shelter. She said women usually escape homelessness by exchanging sexual favours to secure a lodging.
“A lot of females have been here, there and all over the place but then they have to ‘give off’ something to stay there. So now they have a shelter to go to, they now feel safe.”
She said children too are being seriously affected by homelessness with mothers often having to split up the family to ensure they do not sleep on the streets. Hinds-Harewood said the BAEH is hoping to get these women back on their feet and off the streets.
President Kemar Saffrey said he has seen evidence that the number of homeless females in Barbados outnumbers the males. Despite these alarming statistics, Saffrey said at the moment the BAEH is unable to increase the space allocated to female clients.
“If we have 20 beds available for women, once that is maxed out that is all we can do. Until we can see donations at the level that can allow us to do us more then we cant do more …”
For the non-nationals who have found themselves on the streets, Saffrey said these are “ticklish cases” and will be handled with discretion as the BAEH does not want non-nationals to have to fear deportation if they seek out the help of the organization.