Clarendon Poor Relief Department feeds homeless

The Clarendon Municipal Corporation’s Poor Relief Department has instituted a system where it feeds approximately 90 homeless and street people daily amidst concerns that more and more people are turning up on the street.

Deputy Inspector of Poor Ann-Marie Thomas say s poor relief workers in the parish are facing a challenge based on the number of homeless people who are now on the streets.

“In one instance last week an officer witnessed a vehicle dumping a person on the street, and we are concerned about this type of behaviour form persons who we would think are well-thinking citizens,” said Thomas.

She noted that the homeless and street people are listed among the most vulnerable residents in the central-Jamaica parish, and are treated to breakfast and lunch each day by the team from the Poor Relief Department.

This has always been an initiative of the corporation, but since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the department has increased its efforts significantly.

The registered poor, shut-ins, and indigent, through the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, also receive care packages consisting of food and beverages.

Thomas said it is sometimes difficult for the poor relief officers because they have to be out on the streets and in the communities everyday handing out the food and packages while checking on the shut-ins with COVID-19 spreading across the island.

“We take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves, but as poor relief officers we don’t get holidays. Even over the Easter weekend we were on the street delivering food and care packages,” said Thomas.

“Poor relief work is hard. If you don’t have love and a passion for it you cannot do it, because this type of care comes from the heart” added Thomas.

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