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  • The Government has provided an additional 100-bed shelter on Church Street in downtown Kingston for homeless persons in the Corporate Area.
  • This arrangement has been made in light of the nightly islandwide curfews currently in place which prohibit persons from being on the streets between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., except for those who are exempted.
  • Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, made the announcement during a digital press conference at Jamaica House on Friday (April 3).

The Government has provided an additional 100-bed shelter on Church Street in downtown Kingston for homeless persons in the Corporate Area.

This arrangement has been made in light of the nightly islandwide curfews currently in place which prohibit persons from being on the streets between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., except for those who are exempted.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, made the announcement during a digital press conference at Jamaica House on Friday (April 3).

The curfews, which were announced on March 30 by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, form part of measures by the Government to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Jamaica.

Minister McKenzie said the plight of the homeless is a “real concern”, particularly since the imposition of the curfews on April 1.

We have had [roving] teams on the road driving across the Corporate Area and to all the parishes where we find these persons and take them to the facilities, provide them with a bath, change of clothes, and a medical checkup,” he said.

These facilities also include the Marie Atkins Night Shelter on Hanover Street in downtown Kingston.

Meanwhile, Mr. McKenzie informed that the Government commenced an all-island feeding programme for the homeless population across Jamaica on Sunday (March 29).

So far, we have provided breakfast and lunch for 10,000 such persons across the country, with [4,500] of those cases being in the Corporate Area,” he indicated.

Additionally, Mr. McKenzie said the Local Government Ministry has rolled out a programme to take care of the outdoor poor.

Within the first week of this programme, we have reached 22,000 Jamaicans who are registered as outdoor poor, including the 1,700 in our infirmaries,” he said.

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