News

Windsor Girls' Home to house homeless?

St Ann mayor has plans for facility

Renae Dixon

Monday, January 21, 2013    

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MAYOR of St Ann's Bay Desmond Gilmore said he is in the process of submitting a proposal to the National Land Agency for the use of the property which once housed the Windsor Girls' Home in St Ann, to establish a half-way house for persons who have been abandoned by relatives at the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital.

With several persons living on wards at the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital, years after being discharged, and with the hospital experiencing a shortage of beds in recent times, the mayor said he is looking to see how the Council can assist.

Gilmore, who is also the councillor for the Lime Hall division, said the Child Development Agency, which had oversight for the Windsor Girls' Home, has no further interest in the property.

The mayor said some persons have been living on the wards for up to two years, however, his colleague councillor for the Alexandria division Gilbert McLeod said others have been there for up to 12 years.

Gilmore also expressed plans to establish a drop-in centre at the property, where street people can get a meal and other necessities.

Noting that many persons, especially in the tourism areas, complain about the large number of persons on the streets, Gilmore said he hopes to address the problem if allowed to operate the property in Windsor Heights.

"We as a parish are not doing enough for our street people," he said, adding that there needs to be a place to which these people can go to reduce the number of them on the streets.

Gilmore hopes to accomplish this through funds expected to be raised at the Mayor's Ball to be hosted next month.

Proceeds from the ball are also expected to go towards the Council's Scholarship Fund which started last year. The Council awarded a scholarship to a student entering Marcus Garvey Technical last year, and the mayor said the Council "has every intention to continue awarding a scholarship yearly."

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