Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society – Barbadians “good on giving”
President and chairman of the Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society, Kemar Saffrey believes that Barbados is “good on giving“.
Mr. Saffrey was speaking after a recent presentation where the society received $10,000 to further fund its programmes from leading commercial bank, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.
He said the funds had come at the right time, helping to keep the organisation sustainable until additional funding came. “We survive solely on our own but we are hoping to receive a subvention from this year. Barbados is good on giving even if it’s not normally in as large an amount as the one we received from CIBC FirstCaribbean,” Mr. Saffrey explained.
He added the injection of funds would make a “good impact” because the society would be able to continue rolling out its programmes to clients. “We have over 240 clients about 60% of whom are active, who receive continuing support whether through our breakfast programme, counselling or other initiatives,” the president explained.
In thanking CIBC FirstCaribbean for its timely support, Mr. Saffrey said: “We really appreciate the bank’s support because it came at a point when it was really needed. We’ve worked with CIBC FirstCaribbean in the past and would love for them to provide support on a yearly basis and adopt the organisation. We really need funding.”
In terms of future plans, the ambitious young man said the society was working on providing a shelter for the homeless and on implementing a parish programme to provide de-centralised assistance in partnership with the community. “We’re trying to move in the direction of doing more programmes,” he explained.
The society’s programmes include: “At the crossroads“, a house re-integration programme for 12 vagrants a year; “Direct care ministry“, which provides in-office assistance to persons on the street; and “Lost“, a feeding programme which includes a bi-annual health fair, HIV testing and on-the-spot counselling.
Donna Wellington, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Managing Director, Barbados in presenting the funds said the bank was pleased with the programmes of the society. “We’re impressed and touched by the work that the society continues to do in reintegrating vagrants and homeless persons into mainstream society. It was an easy decision to support their work as they provide holistic care for those in dire need and circumstances,” Ms. Wellington noted.