Government in its plans for the removal of socially displaced persons have removed 13 persons as of Tuesday, officials said.
A few street dwellers were seen wandering through the streets yesterday and the Ministry of Social Development started the removal of the homeless last Monday. However, members of the public should not expect a quick sweep of all socially displaced persons, Minister of Social Development Dr Amery Browne said yesterday. Too much haste could create further problems, he warned.
Speaking to Newsday after addressing the civil society forum at the Carnival Victory cruise ship, Browne reiterated the programme to deal with the socially displaced in society was ongoing. Browne said the persons picked up would be taken for assessment at the St Ann’s Mental Hospital and those “free of mental illness” would be sent to the Centre for Socially Displaced Persons (CSDP), Riverside car park. While there they will undergo “social assessment” and when they are deemed ready for rehabilitation and empowerment, systems will be available at Piparo, where they will be transferred.
He said 30 specialist staff comprising rehabilitation aides, specialists and others were recruited for the Piparo facility They will be offered vocational skills and training at Piparo, as of November, 2008 the overall figures for street dwelling stood at 451 with 232 persons living in the streets of Port-of-Spain. The ministry is conducting the removal in phases before the move to other areas. Government has allocated more than $90.5 million for the implementation of the NSDP which includes refurbishment works, construction and annual operational costs.