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Church offering a ‘hand up’

NATASHA BECKLES, [email protected]

Church offering a ‘hand up’

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THE ROMAN CATHOLIC Church is seeking to become a hub of economic activity in order to assist the needy and “new poor”.
The church launched The HUB at the Living Waters Community Centre in St David’s, Christ Church on Thursday. Managing director Marjorie Riley said the current recession was turning the middle class into this new poor and so the church was springing into action.
“Because of the world recession a definition arose called the new poor. The poor has now been expanded from what we knew before where there are people who have just become unemployed. These are people who are educated, have skills and are well versed in technology who live a middle class lifestyle but are now seeing their income eroding.
“Some of them, their debts are rising; they’re insolvent; homes and cars are being repossessed and the sudden collapse in lifestyle is negatively impacting their relationships and their social and psychological well-being,” she said.
Riley said this situation compelled the church to seek ways to combine the available resources in Barbados for the betterment of society on a whole and thus, The HUB was born.
“We need to help them in a creative and humane way. The HUB is a non-denominational group. It is a resource for the needy and community service organisations in Barbados. Our focus will be to provide a hand-up and not a hand-out . . . to assist individuals to meet their basic needs but at the same time provide opportunities through the programmes we are hoping to offer in The HUB. It is important that people maintain their dignity and become self-sufficient,” she said.
Bishop of Bridgetown and Kingstown, Jason Gordon said the idea came to him as he realised the Roman Catholic Church, while playing a part, was not doing enough to address the burgeoning poverty in society. (CA)