Government authorities are being urged to urgently deal with what the Barbados Alliance to End Homelessness describes as a national crisis of homelessness in this country.
President of the Alliance Kemar Saffrey has told the audience of VOB’s Down to Brasstacks call-in program that his organisation which operates the only homeless shelter on the island is overwhelmed.
He notes that government has proposed the establishment of a national task force for which formal approval is pending.
On a positive note, Mr. Saffrey disclosed that Danae Gibbons, the woman who had been living on the streets with her two infant children for several days, starts a job tomorrow.
He adds that due to family issues, poverty, unemployment, drug abuse and mental health issues, the problem of homeless in Barbados has surged, especially since covid.
President of the Barbados Alliance to End Homelessness, Kemar Saffrey.
Also speaking on the Down to Brasstacks program, Democratic Labour Party spokesperson Felicia Dujon was critical of the government’s response to the problem of homelessness and called for more to be done.
Democratic Labour Party spokesperson Felicia Dujon.
Meantime in response Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Kirk Humphrey , insisted that government was already doing a lot but noted the problem is growing at an alarming rate.
Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Kirk Humphrey
At a news conference at the Child Care Board this afternoon, the Board’s acting Director Colin St. Hill explained the Board’s decision to temporarily take Danae Gibbon’s infant children from her.
He stressed that they were considered to be at risk if left on the streets and he gave the assurance that the intention is to reunite the mother and children as soon as possible.
Meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of People Empowerment , Jehu Wiltshire, spoke of plans for a 24 hour shelter as part of an action plan being drafted.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of People Empowerment , Jehu Wiltshire.