Marketing and Media Relations Coordinator
The Sandy Lane Centre was officially renamed Safe Haven Transitional Centre as it seeks to provide better social support and stable housing to persons experiencing chronic homelessness.
The Mental Health Act passed in 2014 in the House of Assembly provided for the establishment of a Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Unit in the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA). As a result, the drug treatment services offered by the Sandy Lane Centre were transferred to the BVIHSA. This decision was taken by Cabinet after reports by the Community Mental Health Services indicated that a total of 22 persons had been identified as being homeless or potentially homeless and are in need of residential support.
Safe Haven Transitional Centre’s Director, Mrs. Jacqueline Donovan said the goal of the new centre is to assist chronically homeless individuals to develop the skills and resources for independent living.
Mrs. Donovan said, “The focus of this restructured programme would be to assist clients to attain their optimal level of functioning through various therapeutic services and activities such as individual counseling and group sessions”.
She added that group sessions at the centre include building healthy relationships, addiction and recovery, coping skills, anger management, employment readiness, healthy living, and home and gardening.
Homelessness is a growing concern caused by multiple factors including drug abuse, family/relationship disputes, mental health problems, economic displacement, chronic illness, poverty and illegal migration.
For more information on the Safe Haven Transitional Centre, telephone the office at 468-5815.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates human development and improves the quality of life in the Virgin Islands.