Gov’t approves facility to aid vagrants and homeless people

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A programme seeking to provide assistance to vagrants and homeless people was approved by the Cabinet when it was put forward this week by the Minister responsible for Social Transformation, Samantha Marshall.
The minister told OBSERVER media that her Cabinet colleagues are in support of the initiative which will includes setting up a facility where the affected people will find temporary shelter, access to rehabilitation services and counselling among other forms of assistance.
“Cabinet approved the programme and for us to look at the facility, for public works to go in and do the assessment and agree on the rental,” she said.
Currently, there is no such facility or policy in place to deal with homeless people or vagrants and the minister said she is pleased to lead the charge.
“We have had discussions with some members of the civic society and organisations as to how they could work along with the ministry to get the capacity to make a difference in relation to that. In essence, we are looking at a rehabilitation programme for the homeless to ensure that we give the necessary support and assistance that they require,” she said.
Marshall stressed however, that the facility should not be seen as a permanent home for the groups identified.
“We will not have the capacity to do that. It is hopefully one where we could identify the families and try to bring the individual and the family together. We recognise the problem but we cannot adopt vagrants,” she explained.
In the instance where the vagrants may have mental issues, Marshall said the ministry cannot simply step in and take them off the street and put them into any home since the law outlines a particular procedure must be followed through the court.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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