Montego Bay, February 19, 2019 – Jamaica – Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the Government is expected to spend in excess of $350 million during the new fiscal year to construct three multipurpose drop-in centres to serve indigent residents in the Corporate Area, Portland and St. Catherine.
“So, by the end of 2020, we would have created facilities of this nature in all 14 parishes across the country that will create an environment for those persons who are desperately in need,” he said.
He advised that drop-in centres across the island will be furnished to create a more comfortable environment for persons who use the facilities.
The Minister was speaking at the official opening of the Hanover Drop-In Centre on Friday (February 15) at Miller’s Drive in Lucea.
The facility, constructed at a cost of S14 million, will provide warm meals for homeless persons, as well as a place for them to shower, change their clothes, and rest temporarily .
Minister McKenzie implored the users to take care of the drop-in centre. “This is your facility and you must protect it. You must ensure that when you use this facility you do not abuse it, do not be disrespectful to the staff, treat them with respect and they too must in turn respect you,” he said.
He commended the staff of the Hanover Poor Relief Department for their hard work and commitment to aiding indigent residents in the parish.
“One of the best set of poor relief workers are found right here in Hanover, and that is manifested in the quality of service (provided),” he noted.
Mr. McKenzie said that the Ministry has been seeking the support of Corporate Jamaica in the thrust to improve the lives of indigent persons in the parish.
Contact: Serena Grant
Photo Caption: Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, (fifth from left), cuts the ribbon to officially open the Hanover Drop-in Centre at the opening ceremony held at Miller’s Drive, Lucea, in the parish on Friday (February 15). All sharing in the occasion are (from left) Member of Parliament for Eastern Hanover, Dave Brown; Councillor of the Chester Castle Division, Fearon Decarish; Councillor of the Lucea Division, Easton Edwards; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Marsha Henry Martin; Mayor of Lucea, Councillor Sheridan Samuels, Deputy Mayor of Lucea, Andria Dehaney Dinham; Chairman of the Poor Relief, Councillor Marvell Sewell; and Councillor of the Riverside Division, Daren Barnes.