The Night Shelter, located at Arapiama Street, East La Penitence, is to be upgraded with new health, infrastructure and security measures. The new systems are to ensure better healthcare for the homeless people who use the facility.
The Night Shelter located at 1A Arapiama Street, East La Penitence.
The Shelter, operated by the Ministry of Social Protection, recently introduced a medical examination system to check for infectious diseases. This is to prevent the spread of diseases and protect the health of all those at the shelter.
Administrator of the Night Shelter, Shelia Verasammy, explained that when a person wants to reside at the Night Shelter, an interview is conducted and the person needs to provide proof that they are homeless. A medical examination is carried out and in some cases a police clearance is requested.
Administrator of the Night Shelter Shelia Veersammy
Veersammy explained that these systems were implemented because many persons living on the pavement have tuberculosis (TB) and hypertension and persons often times commit crimes or petty crime and want to hide out at the shelter. The Administrator posited that these systems will ensure a safe and clean environment for homeless persons to be integrated and live comfortably.
The medical examination will inform the Night Shelter of the health condition of the person and how best they can be treated. Plans are underway to collaborate with the Palms Geriatrics Home for an on-call doctor to attend to the occupants.
Living quarters have been upgraded and divided in to three sections. Persons who are ill are placed in one section to give them some amount of privacy and to protect the other occupants. There are nine persons currently living at the Night Shelter with TB.
Veersammy pointed out that while it is a Shelter and everyone has the right to be here once a bed is available, the Shelter has the responsibility to take some necessary precautions. “This environment is what you call a fertile ground for any occasion to arise, most of which can be negative,” she said.
Efforts to improve the Shelter include upgrades to the building better fences, improvement to the security system with the installation of closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras and a newly built security hut, building staff capacity and providing more efficient medical interventions.
The Administrator is calling on citizens to embrace services provided by the government for their less fortunate family and friends.
By Zanneel Williams
Two of the three living quarters at the Night Shelter