Gov't spending $28m to erect more drop-in centres for homeless persons

Thursday, May 17, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie says the ministry is erecting additional drop-in centres for homeless citizens at a cost of $28 million.

McKenzie, said the facilities will be used to assess, feed, treat, counsel and otherwise care for the homeless.

He was making his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday.

The minister informed that work on the St Ann Drop-in Centre is complete and was officially opened on May 11.

Drop-in centres are also being constructed in Hanover, St Mary and St Elizabeth, and facilities will be built in St Thomas and Trelawny.

“These centres will provide comprehensive care. It is estimated that there are close to 2,000 persons living on the streets of this country and the drop-in centres will provide progressive service addressing the needs of these persons,” McKenzie said.

Meanwhile, the minister informed that educational grants are being provided to poor children under the Social Protection Programme.

He said that every year, a special ceremony is held to award these children, who have excelled in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) tests.

McKenzie said that in the last financial year, grants valued at over $1,016,000, were awarded to 58 students to pursue studies at the secondary and tertiary levels.

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