Spread of the homeless a concern

President of the Barbados Alliance to End Homelessness, Kemar Saffrey, is looking at getting help for some homeless people who are now sleeping in the elements by the old Courtesy Garage Building at Worthing, Christ Church.

On Thursday he spoke to some of the men, including two who decided to seek help at the 24-hour shelter at Spry Street, The City.

“We cannot leave our nation builders on the street. We need to give them proper care. I know the Government has brought legislation but the action needed now is moving them from the street to take care of them,” Saffrey said.

There was a sign on the property saying Do Not Trespass and the men who decided to stay were given food Thursday and medical attention.

Saffrey said different areas were being populated.

“There are different pockets in Bridgetown areas, Oistins . . . as more people become homeless they see the group and feel safer with the group. The areas they stay at become dirty.”

He called on different organisations to play their roles and “arrest it” as he had seen an increase in numbers in the shelter.

“We need long-term plans and solutions. We are still deliberating . . .”

Saffrey said in terms of finding employment, some of the young homeless men were previously in the road-cleaning programme and he was also looking for housing solutions for those who could help themselves with some of the rent.

“The challenge is that some landlords are wary of Welfare Department paying the rent.”

He recommended those with serious mental issues to get institutional care.

“Some have their reasons for not getting help but sometimes pride kicks in and sometimes it is the drugs kicking in. We cannot force anybody into care.” (NS)

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