Two emergency shelters for Eastern Portland and a soup kitchen for downtown Kingston

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Two emergency shelters for Eastern Portland and a soup kitchen for downtown Kingston

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development says two additional emergency shelters will be established in Eastern Portland to protect vulnerable people during disasters.

Portfolio minister Desmond McKenzie said there has been an increased focus on areas for isolation at the shelters for the aged and others due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have found some locations in Portland. It is one of the parishes that suffers severely when we have severe weather,” he said.

McKenzie said that containers will be retrofitted for storage of food items at the shelters, “so that in case of an event and the area is cut off, the residents can still have needed supplies”.

Member of Parliament for Eastern Portland, Ann-Marie Vaz, also said that a “proactive move” is being taken for the areas that are prone to road blockages during heavy rains.

“This is a move we are making to ensure that in the event we have any marooning up there, dislocation of normal life will be minimal,” she said.

Meanwhile, McKenzie also announced that his ministry will be building a new soup kitchen in downtown Kingston to properly care for more than 1,000 people who reside on the streets, providing them with meals twice per day.

“This is the first one, and we will be looking to build another one in St Catherine. We are looking at the parishes that have a concentration of people living on the streets,” he said.

He said the feeding programme for the homeless is “going well” and the GraceKennedy Group has decided to provide sponsorship for the initiative, and that other entities need to join and assist.

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