Some people are deliberately claiming to be homeless because of the benefits that status can get – like three free meals a day and welfare assistance.
Though only a few have done this, it is a disturbing trend which the Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society (BVHS) intend to combat as it may detract from the reality of increased homelessness.
BVHS president Kemar Saffrey said on Saturday they were seeing two to three new cases a week, on average, of genuine homelessness. But some weeks, they see as many as five new cases. He said several of these individuals were attributing their plight to losing their job – from either the public or private sectors.
Saffrey said much of this destitution was occurring because when some people were laid-off, they were no longer able to pay rent. Also, some people may be forced out, or asked to leave their family-occupied home because of conflict with relatives for being unable to contribute to its upkeep like before. (SP)
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