1Myth: Homeless people are mostly single men
Fact: While most of those experiencing homelessness are single males, a growing percentage of the homeless includes women. Homeless women comprise roughly one third of the total homeless population.
At BVHS, A small percent of clients are women children and children on any given night. The Shelter provides meals, protection and baths, and a variety of other services specifically for women and children.
2Myth: Homeless people are mentally ill
Fact: According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, A high percent of the homeless persons in Barbados suffers from some form of mental illness.
At BVHS, an on-site psychiatrist provides mental health assistance to help residents deal with common diagnoses such as depression and anxiety disorders, bipolar disease and schizophrenia. The staff
(Mental nurse from the Psychiatric Hospital) works closely with case managers and the clients themselves to ensure functionality and a balanced quality of life.
3Myth: Homeless people became homeless because of poor choices
According to The Barbados Vagrants & Homeless Society, the top five reasons of homelessness are: 1) the family, 2) Drugs, 3) unemployment, 4) lack of housing, and 5) mental illness. None of these reasons are related to choice as they can happen to anyone.
At BVHS, all clients are assigned a case manager within hours of assessment, evaluation and creation of a mutually agreed upon personalized case plan.
4What is the difference between a vagrant and a homeless person?
A vagrant is a person whom we consider to be impoverished, unemployed and resides on the street. A vagrant usually has no fixed place of abode, has very limited access to food because his or her daily life relies on begging.
A homeless person is one whom we consider to be living in a dilapidated house or residing in a building or place that is not theirs. This person is not necessarily a vagrant because these circumstances befall them based on losing belongings due to fire or dispute with family whereas the circumstances of a vagrant usually befall them due to drugs and alcohol addiction.