Director of the Family Support Network (FSN) Sasha Hodge said that the five days of shelter often provided to persons needing to escape from a domestic violence situation is not always sufficient. However, she said that at the moment there is not much more that the organization can do and that there is a constant hope for a better shelter option.
Ms. Hodge made the disclosure on 27 September during an appearance on JTV in celebration of the 30 years anniversary of the Family Support Network. In noting the situation the FSN Director said: “We do offer emergency shelter and our emergency shelter is a beautiful thing, but the reality is: most people look at it and say “five days, that’s all you can give me? Five days what can I do? I can’t get everything in order in five days. The reality is that we know that they can’t. Which is why we have it as an emergency shelter.”
“Which is why we hope that in the near future we will be able to have something better so that people can really get their lives together, because I think that a lot of times that is why people stay …because they have no strong support,” Hodge added.
This is not the first time that the need to provide more shelter to persons in need of an escape has been mentioned. In fact, the mention was made in the 2013 Family Support Network report that was distributed to the media on 10 December that year.
In that report it was disclosed that The Family Support Network was considering a residential facility for various persons who may need temporary housing.
The report stated: “We continue to help with temporary housing where we can and we have been approached to work with a local church on setting up a brand new safe house for victims and their families.”
The need for a residential facility for those needing temporary shelter was even mentioned by Government as an initiative that will be pursued. The announcement was also made in 2013 by then Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie Skelton during the signing of the protocols for Domestic Violence and the Protection of Children.
The Minister at the time stated that the secured property will house not only domestic violence affected persons, but also some homeless individuals… both for the homeless, the people on the streets and to have some level of accommodation for people who find themselves in Domestic Violence or even children who need to be in a secured environment for a period of time,” he stated.