The Hustle Truck initiative was the brain child of then junior Minister the Hon. Michael Scott and the West End Community.   The Minister of Labour, Home Affairs and Housing, Senator The Hon. Lt. Col. David A Burch Volunteered to engineer the innovative Program under the Bermuda Housing Corporation (BHC).  BHC brought the program to birth April 5, 2007 by contracting 8 young men and women of MiddleTown to paint over graffiti on the walls of the BHC's Property in Middletown.   The program expanded to three teams supported by three trucks supplied by the W&E department to move workers and complete jobs.  Thus the HUSTLE TRUCK PROGRAM was formed.

 

The PURPOSE of the Hustle Truck Program is to help the Unemployed to Support themselves through Limited Employment (HUSTLE) and through Life Skills development.

The OBJECTIVES of the program are to; Minimize the bureaucracy for the unemployed to provide them with employment opportunities despite past problems.  Foster job readiness skills of participants for their eventual transition to productive work.  Help the unemployed find employment.  Source of income for the unemployed.  Development of a "Life Skills" plan for unemployed.  Create a sense of hope for the disillusioned.  Increase sense of self worth.

            But in spite of the Ministry trying to get people on the right track this is being thwarted by the community's perception of the Program.  When most people in the Community hear the term Hustle Truck they automatically have a negative connotation about the program.  Most people think that the program is for losers and misfits.  I am here to tell you that most of the people who work on the Hustle Truck Program just want to have the opportunity to have a job so that they can help themselves and their families and not feel that they have to except handouts that make them feel like a charity case.

            To improve the lifestyle of the workers we assist them by provide programs that allow them to get a formal education.  Most of those who are striving to get an education have dropped out of school many years ago.  We presently have twenty one people working on improving their lot in life by attending school.  That is one third of our work force.  Eight are taking College courses and 13 are taking adult Education courses through the AdultEducationCenter, CARE Computer Program the Seventh Day Adventist Program and others.

             We work with persons to secure permanent jobs throughout the work force in Bermuda.  We work with other agencies in Government to make sure they have the resources and support that can move them on their way to securing a full time job and a better lifestyle.

I also have to be honest and state that there are still people who are still not willing to make lifestyle changes and are just looking for the easy way out.  I am happy to report that that number is getting smaller as the program progresses.  The teams headed by a Supervisor are coming together as a unit and this is seen in the quality of work and behavior.

            On a daily basis we work with 60 people divided up into teams.  We have a Painting Team, Cleaning Team, Bus Shelter team, Office Team, and three roving teams that that are lead by a supervisor and they work throughout the Island.  We complete approximately 30 to 35 jobs per month.  If you add together the jobs completed since January it becomes to quite a total, approximately 280 jobs completed with satisfaction from the community.  How do we know this, mostly from the calls and letters thanking us for services rendered?  They also show their appreciation with donations of tools and equipment.

            Sec Doug drawing on his own experiences of the Salvation Army, whose programs work with the same group of individuals, thanked Bryant on behalf of the club for his efforts and the informative presentation.