News

Drop-in centre for the homeless to be opened in Ocho Rios

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!


KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — A drop-in centre for homeless people in the parish of St Ann is to be opened in Ocho Rios in May.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, is expected to open the centre, after participating in the regular monthly sitting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation.

Speaking with JIS News, Chairman of the St Ann Municipal Corporation and Mayor of Ocho Rios, Councillor Michael Belnavis, said the town needs a facility to provide for the needs of individuals who are homeless or facing challenges and in need of care.

“So, the humane thing to do is to create an environment where they can be cared for, washed or get a shower, clothed, medicated and at the same time given a hot meal. For phase one, it will be a drop-in centre. For phase two, we will accommodate some level of sleep-in,” he noted.

Mayor Belnavis pointed out that the facility, although secure, will not be a prison and every effort will be made to treat the 'guests' with respect, care and love.

“It is not a prison. Yes, it is properly fenced and they are secured. There will still be those who will be roaming the streets, but they won't have to be going through garbage bins looking for food, as they will be given meals and they will be given a change of clothes,” he said.

Mayor Belnavis pointed out that, currently, various civic and religious groups host programmes where food is provided for homeless persons, but the centre will take a more focused, sustained and stable approach to the care of the homeless in Ocho Rios and the wider St Ann.

“This is a good thing for the town. It allows us to do the caring that we as Parish Councillors bring to the table. That's what we do… . We are social workers, and this is part of the social work that we do,” he told JIS News.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT