A new charity has been formed to help empower young adult men.

Transitional Community Services is aimed at helping at-risk males aged 18 to 34.

Tiffanne Thomas, the executive director, said local data showed that “disproportionately our young adult males, particularly black males have achieved limited academic success, which leads to limited employment opportunities and economic instability”.

She added: “These findings contribute to increased risks experienced by some of the men in our community which often times manifest in the social problems that we see and experience.”

Ms Thomas worked for a year with a professional behaviour specialist and programme designer, Maya Kennedy of the Apramaya Institute in the United States.

The two evaluated the data and needs of clients, as well as training requirements for staff.

Ms Thomas said the programme would tackle a “pervasive gap” in treatment for young adult men.

She added: “Through our Community Bridge Builders Programme, we provide counselling, case management, and employability skill building.

“We work to engage men using an empowerment model.”

She said TCS believed that “to shift a mindset is to change a life”.

The charity will also work closely with others in the field and has recruited Desmond Crockwell, Gavin Smith and Milton McKenzie to service as male leadership coaches. It also launched its Community Bridge Builders Programme in February, and has begun receiving referrals.

Martha Dismont, the managing director of Catalyst Consulting, helped refer the group to Ms Kennedy.

Ms Dismont said: “Given the increased challenges that this community continues to face with regard to our young adult males, and their constant cry for help through their behaviour, it was an easy decision to support Transitional Community Services Bridge Builders Program with resources.

“I encourage as many in the community who can to support this important programme.”

The three male leadership coaches joined TCS in February to give one-on-one support and advocacy.

The group was also joined by Aruna Dismont, programme resource manager.

Ms Thomas thanked donors for their support.

She added: “The many corporate, personal, and foundation donations received have been invaluable to support us with carrying out our mission.

“We welcome requests to learn more about us, and we continue to need volunteers to assist the board to solidify our organisation’s infrastructure.

“We are sensitive to the recent events in our community and are concerned for the safety of the entire community. We also empathise with the pleas for support.”

Ms Thomas said the community as a whole suffered when the needs of high-risk people were unmet.

“The risks inevitably continue to increase, until these needs are met,” she said.

“Community gang violence threatens our quality of life and the safety of everyone. We are here to help.”

Men can access services by referral from other services, or through self-referral.

For more information, e-mail info@tcscharity.bm or call 295-4250.

Article written by Jonathan Bell from The Royal Gazette