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Home for the homeless

Roman catholic church reaching out to barbadians in need

There is hope for those hopeless Barbadians who have been laid off, are now unemployed, and living in despair.

The Roman Catholic Church in Barbados has launched The Hub to keep hope alive and the dignity intact for those in need.

The Hub is a non-denominational network of philanthropic organizations that will work to meet the challenges created by the present economic environment. The goal of The Hub is “to assist individuals in need by ensuring that they have access to adequate resources to meet their basic needs, while at the same time providing opportunities for them to achieve self-sufficiency through their participation in programmes of The Hub, its affiliated organizations and any other organization that has linkages to The Hub”.

During an interview with Barbados TODAY, Roman Catholic Church Bishop Jason Gordon, at his Ladymeade Gardens office, said The Hub could be simplified as people helping people through an avenue which creates a new way of connecting people within society.

He explained that during this time when the country was facing an economic downturn, The Hub was established to restore hope for many living at a challenging time of high unemployment which is being felt by parents, children and the extended family. As a result, the said the hub will be a place where the unemployed can find different levels of support and be comforted.

“We are hoping that through The Hub we would bring people together and more ventures would start, partnerships would emerge, people would have ideas and would throw them around and they might get into a little venture.

“But without a space in the worldwide web and a physical space for that level of interaction and meeting people would not have these anticipated opportunities,” he said.

“Everyone who comes to The Hub has something to offer and everyone who comes has something to receive where the distinction between those who
are helping and those who are being helped will be blurred as a community where skills and opportunities giving people a meaning way forward out of their challenges, would be formed,” the bishop, who ignited the project, added.

The church launched the hub on April 3. Since then, there has been a tremendous response as people have been constantly calling the office which is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

Managing director of the project, Majorie Riley, who was also sitting in on the interview said she believed those opening hours might have to be extended “because of the number of people that are coming”.

We have a mobile that has been quite busy. What we are trying to do is to have them come in, fill out the forms and we have the other groups within the Catholic Church helping,” Riley said.

The managing director pointed out that it was important to note that those people who were newly unemployed were not only educated, skilful and talented, but also wanted to maintain their dignity, and as a result, the confidentiality of their information would be respected.

“Even though they are giving us information, just a selected few of people on The Hub committee will see that information which will not be going all over the place and people will feel secure in their minds that we are helping them to retain their dignity,” she stated.

She added: “The working and how we phrase ourselves is important. The people who come to us and register their skills, we call from the community who have things to offer, we call them them part of The Hub community and then we also have companies and individuals willing to provide services free of cost to members of The Hub and they are called associates.”

The Hub’s website will be launched within the next few weeks.

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