Complaints from CMC prompt Cabinet to revisit plans for a facility to cater to vagrant and homeless population

Another move, after over five years, is being made by the Government to provide assistance to vagrants.

However, this comes only after the Central Marketing Corporation (CMC) has reportedly complained about the vagrants who converge on the building’s front area at night and sleep there.

As a result of their occupation, CMC officials   claim that several large glass windows have been broken, and the unkempt appearance of the building’s front is a deterrent to doing business with the government-run entity.

Therefore, a decision has been taken by the Cabinet to find suitable housing for these homeless individuals.  This task reportedly has been assigned to the Minister of Health, Sir Molwyn Joseph.

This is not the first time the Administration is making moves to address the homeless population. Sometime in 2017, it was announced that a programme geared towards assisting vagrants and the homeless had been approved by the Cabinet.

The suggestion was reportedly put forward by Samantha Marshall, then the Minister of Social Transformation.

Reportedly, the Executive had approved the initiative, which included setting up a facility where vagrants could find temporary shelter; access to rehabilitation services; and counselling, among other forms of assistance.

Social Transformation was responsible for finding the facility and the Ministry of Works would have done an assessment of the building and agreed on the rental.

It was noted that the facility was not to be seen as a permanent home for the vagrants and the homeless.

In fact, efforts had been made to identify the families of those on the street and bring them together with relatives, since the Government did not have the capacity to house them permanently.

Marshall had admitted, then, that vagrancy was a problem, but that the Government “cannot adopt vagrants.”

Discussions had already been held with  members of civil society to determine how they could work along with the Ministry, at that time, to realize the plans and programmes, and Marshall had expressed excitement to lead the charge.