Public Consultation on the Draft Plan “Path to End Homelessness in Bermuda”

Over the past several months, the Ministry, in collaboration with the Advisory Panel on Homelessness and various community stakeholders, has been diligently working on launching a comprehensive strategic plan to end homelessness in Bermuda. 

In October 2023, the Ministry undertook a community perceptions survey in collaboration with the charitable organization HOME to obtain the community’s feedback, thoughts, and understanding of the public’s view and perception of homelessness in Bermuda. 

Again, we thank all of you who responded to that survey and provided invaluable feedback that will inform our strategies to end homelessness in Bermuda. 

Today marks the launch of a vital part of this journey – the public consultation phase. From December 14th, 2023, until February 29th, 2024, we invite each and every one of you to engage with us and lend us your thoughts, expertise, and perspective on the draft strategic plan that has been developed as a roadmap to end homelessness in Bermuda.

Your feedback is invaluable in fortifying this plan to truly reflect the needs and aspirations of our community.

To facilitate this dialogue, the consultative strategic plan will be accessible on the Government’s Bermuda Citizens Forum – 

I am pleased to share that the draft plan was established through unprecedented levels of stakeholder engagement. Proposed actions have been developed productively with over 400 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and as a result of hundreds of hours of collaborative input from community experts and partners. 

Also, the draft plan is based on the output of evidence-based research into solutions from over forty countries around the world as well as those domestically, and two rounds of community consultation, the third of which will take place now with this consultative process. 

This plan comprises essential recommended actions that reflect the collaborative work of key organizations such as HOME, STARR/Lighthouse, Teen Haven, Transformational Living Centre, the Salvation Army, Dignity House, Solstice, and the Bermuda Housing Corporation. 

Actions designed not just to address the surface but to dive deeper, addressing the root causes and offering sustainable solutions. They encompass a wide spectrum, ranging from: 

1. Ensuring a rapid end of rough sleeping and other forms of high-risk homelessness 
2. A systematic approach to homelessness data and intervention monitoring 
3. Sufficient accessible social and affordable housing and welfare entitlements 
4. Citizen-centric coordinated service delivery
5. Public policy reform and statutory rights and protection changes
6. Public perception and awareness and; 
7. Other holistic and system-wide reforms

Working groups have already been established to ensure the efficient execution of this strategic plan. These groups will delve into critical areas such as legal frameworks, data collection, property establishment, case management, and community engagement and education. Each working group has a designated member from the Advisory Panel, ensuring consistent communication and progress updates.

After taking into consideration all of your input, the comprehensive strategic plan will be finalized and published in April 2024 for subsequent execution.

Let us move forward together, united as a community, not just in words but also in action, to ensure that every individual in Bermuda has a place to call home. 

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