Government Secures Temporary Shelter

September 29, 2014

[Updated with video] Minister of Community, Culture and Sports Wayne Scott today [Sept 29] announced that the Government has “located a secure facility which will be used immediately as a temporary shelter for those who find themselves in need of emergency support due to domestic violence.

Minister Scott said, “As you will be aware, there has been much said in the media recently about the closure of the safe house operated by the Centre Against Abuse.

“I am very pleased to inform you that Government has located a secure facility which will be used immediately as a temporary shelter for those who find themselves in need of emergency support due to domestic violence.

“In the short period since the closure of the shelter operated by the Centre Against Abuse, the Government has not been made aware of any emergency situations requiring the use of a safe house.

“The shelter that has been identified represents only a short-term solution, but will allow Government the time needed to continue to work with various stakeholders – including the Centre Against Abuse and the Women’s Resource Centre – to identify a sustainable long-term solution.”

Minister Scott announces temporary shelter for victims of domestic violence:

“Simultaneously, Government is still looking within the budget of the Ministry of Community, Culture and Sports to see if funds can be diverted from other areas to assist with meeting the operating costs of the shelter that had been operated by the Centre Against Abuse.

“We believe that the time has come for charities to work together more closely so that the vital services they provide to the public are less likely to be put at risk.

“To that end the Centre Against Abuse and the Women’s Resource Centre, two charities which service similar clients, have agreed to look for opportunities to increase collaboration around administrative and programming aspects.

“Government will continue to work with these organizations and their Boards to identify the means whereby the critical and vital services they offer will continue to be made available to Bermuda’s residents.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

As you will be aware, there has been much said in the media recently about the closure of the safe house operated by the Centre Against Abuse.

I am very pleased to inform you that Government has located a secure facility which will be used immediately as a temporary shelter for those who find themselves in need of emergency support due to domestic violence.

In the short period since the closure of the shelter operated by the Centre Against Abuse, the Government has not been made aware of any emergency situations requiring the use of a safe house.

The shelter that has been identified represents only a short-term solution, but will allow Government the time needed to continue to work with various stakeholders – including the Centre Against Abuse and the Women’s Resource Centre – to identify a sustainable long-term solution.

The Centre on Philanthropy, whose work is to support the capacity building of Bermuda’s non-profits has worked with the Government and both organizations in an advisory capacity and will provide on-going support as required throughout the process.

Simultaneously, Government is still looking within the budget of the Ministry of Community, Culture and Sports to see if funds can be diverted from other areas to assist with meeting the operating costs of the shelter that had been operated by the Centre Against Abuse.

This Government keenly recognizes the challenges being faced by charities at this time. While Government partners with many charities, it is not involved in how they conduct their affairs, although they are regulated by Government from an overall perspective, via the registration process and the monitoring of their financial statements.

Government would encourage charities that offer similar services to combine their resources. We believe that the time has come for charities to work together more closely so that the vital services they provide to the public are less likely to be put at risk.

To that end the Centre Against Abuse and the Women’s Resource Centre, two charities which service similar clients, have agreed to look for opportunities to increase collaboration around administrative and programming aspects. Discussions are ongoing around the possibility of both charities being housed under the same roof, which could reduce the operating expenses of each charity.

This Government takes its responsibilities most seriously and cares about those who find themselves as victims of domestic violence. We will always endeavour to assist charities to find sustainable solutions to challenges faced whilst carrying out their good works.

For my part, I would like to thank and congratulate the Centre Against Abuse, the Women’s Resource Centre and the Centre on Philanthropy for working with Government to find a solution to this problem, and for recognizing the need for charities to collaborate to achieve the best possible outcome for Bermudians in need.

Government will continue to work with these organizations and their Boards to identify the means whereby the critical and vital services they offer will continue to be made available to Bermuda’s residents.

Thank you.

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Comments (41)

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  1. josef says:

    i feel for these woman. if i made the same kind of money those insurance workers are making then i’d donate some money towards this place.

    • letsgetreal4real says:

      Yep, until you become ‘one of those insurance workers’ and realize the sacrifice you’ve made to get there, the amount of money you’ve spent on education and training, the goals and debts you are working towards, and the overall intensity of your job.

      There is a reason they get paid more than the ‘common man’…

      Do you volunteer your time? Do you donate your money to causes?

      Or do you just sit on Bernews and poke at those doing better than you and disguise your jealousy with an altruistic guise that lets you feel good about yourself?

      • I'm professional says:

        Wow. Got elitism.

        • Ronald says:

          Nope, just not afraid to say what many think. Spot on.

        • letsgetreal4real says:

          Go ahead and address the content of what I have said rather than blurt out your irrelevant, personal opinions.

  2. Politricks says:

    Good work Min. Scott.

    But there needs to be greater regulation over local charities, and I know what has been done in the last several years. Maybe the institution of funding/expenditure requirements (i.e. how much can be paid in salaries vs. funding for intended demographics). Say if a charity breaches the threshold they are given a warning and if breached again strip them of their charity status.

    Just the fact that 87% of The Centre’s budget goes to pay salaries to me indicates that it is more of a charity for its workers then the target demographics it is supposed to be helping. Charities are designed to help people in need and not as an alternative form of employment. In other words salaries do not equal charitable work.

  3. Common Cents says:

    I’m not sure how this will help – it is my understanding that the Centre Against Abuse already has property and a building (which they own) outfitted for use as a Safe House or shelter. What the Centre is lacking is operational funds to pay staff, electricity, telephone, etc. Keep in mind a shelter needs to be staffed 24×7.

    Is Government also going to provide staffing for the temporary shelter?

  4. sebring says:

    if the staff is to be paid 86 thousand per year where can i apply?

    • Common Cents says:

      Are you willing to work 24x7x365 for $86k a year? I believe the Safe House has one full time person and half a dozen part time people all filling the matron role. So the $86k is divided amongst 6 or 7 people to provide 24x7x365 coverage.

  5. Coffee says:

    Don’t care what the minister says , if it wasn’t for Mark Anderson aka Sybil the lowly bus driver , this government would’ve ignored this service entirely . Cold blooded an all is this administration .

    • hmmm says:

      Cold Blooded, yes you are coffee.

    • Unbelievable says:

      you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Aren’t you the one asking them to impose a police state on the island and to trample all over the freedoms and rights of the innocent in another article. Careful, your one sided hypocrisy is showing.

      • Coffee says:

        What’s showing is your lack of ideas and/or unbridled ignorance …. Go back and reread that post .

  6. I want to thank you Minister Wayne Scott for informing the public of the progress being made…I believe you have / are doing your best in order to resolve the wrongs not only for them at Centre Against Abuse and the Women’s Resource Centre but also, all others that are in need.

    • more than enough says:

      You believe any thing the oba says

      • And like all of you (that are afraid to sign your names)it’s our choice to support whichever political party we want and thus far I still have confidence in my O.B.A. Government. They have done more good for Bermuda in its short time as our Govt. than the previous Govt…Sad yes, but true :-(

        • Coffee says:

          What makes you think people believe you have ‘signed’ your name . For all I know you are using a moniker like everyone else !

          If you happen to be using your ‘real’ name that in it self doesn’t validate your comments as your own thoughts , hence your frequent use of boring quotes taken from dead academics , thinkers and civil rights leaders …

        • more than enough says:

          And who would name thier child ray ray?
          You chat too much.

          • The same type of person that would’ve named their child / children “more than enough” and “coffee” Sad yes but true :-(

        • You’re catching up :-)

  7. hmmm says:

    Say this Centre needs a permanent staff cover.

    Fine.

    Then let’s make it viable by losing the admin costs, by combining the centre into the WRC.

    • Common Cents says:

      The Safe House is only one of many services and programmes that the Centre provides. And when you refer to ‘admin costs’, you’re talking about the staff that are actually delivering those services to people in need.

      • Strike fund says:

        There are many charities on the island doing similar things and admin costs are being duplicated.

        This needs to be looked into so there is more help for the people finding themselves in need of the service.

        99% in staff and admin costs leaves little for anything else.

        • Hmmm says:

          What changed aside from the 25,000 reduction in grants. That could be shared accross salaries. Why this year did they struggle?

  8. Creamy says:

    Almost all the funds raised by the charity are spent on salaries and admin expenses. $411,000 last year. On salaries amd expenses.
    That’s a high-class charity.

  9. Lol says:

    Fake Wayne again!

  10. Rhonda Neil says:

    I am not understanding the OBA government, an abuse center, is more about protection, then a bed. It’s the man power protection that cost money.

  11. Supporter says:

    Thanks OBA!

  12. something says:

    what about men suffering from domestic violence? is there any protection for them? or are we all assuming its just the women of this island that are being abused by their significant others?

    • Common Cents says:

      The Centre Against Abuse also has a hotline for men suffering abuse. Two hotlines – one for women, one for men. And it has programmes for men, both abused and abuser.

  13. sebring says:

    just heard that the first case of ebola has been confirmed in dallas texas ! i hope this can be a learning method to find a place where those that are suspicious of ebola can be placed in isolation . and in the event that should happen at least the government can have this place as an alternative to kemh !