Parish Councils Receive More Funding to Assist the Homeless

The Government has increased its budgetary support to all local authorities for their homeless programme to $21 million, up from the $16 million provided in the 2013/14 fiscal year.
This was disclosed by Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan, during his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral debate in the House of Representatives on June 25.
Mr. Fagan informed that focus is also being placed on a coordinated approach to the administration of outreach and support services to the homeless.
“The Board of Supervision continues to forge partnerships with several groups to support the homeless programme; indeed homelessness is everybody’s business,” he stated.
In addition six Homeless Parish Committees in Hanover, St. Catherine, Portland, Manchester, Clarendon, and Kingston and St. Andrew have been established to develop strategies and measures to address homelessness in the respective parishes.
“Some of these measures include the implementation of skills training for the rehabilitated homeless in select care facilities through HEART/NTA,” Mr. Fagan said.
Meanwhile, the State Minister informed that based on a survey done, there is the need to focus on new care facilities for the homeless.
“We will be seeking the required funding, through public-private partnerships, for the following Parishes – St. Catherine, Manchester, St. Ann, and Kingston and St. Andrew,” Mr.  Fagan informed.
He added that the Government is presently refurbishing the facility for the homeless on the infirmary’s compound in Clarendon to accommodate persons in that parish.