The Government is to establish two additional emergency shelters in the communities of Windsor Castle and Mount Horeb, in Eastern Portland, to protect vulnerable persons during disasters.
Making the disclosure, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, said increased focus is now being placed on areas for isolation at the shelters for the aged and other persons, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We have found some locations in Portland. It is one of the parishes that suffer severely when we have severe weather,” he said, during a recent interview with JIS News in Mount Horeb, Eastern Portland.
The Minister pointed out that containers will be retrofitted for storage of food items at the shelters, “so that in case of an event and the area is cut off, the residents can still have needed supplies”.
Welcoming news about the new shelters, Member of Parliament for Eastern Portland, Ann-Marie Vaz, told JIS News that a “proactive move” is being taken for the areas that are prone to road blockages during heavy rains.
“This is a move we are making to ensure that in the event we have any marooning up there, dislocation of normal life will be minimal,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mr. McKenzie said the Ministry will be building a new soup kitchen in downtown Kingston to properly care for more than 1,000 persons who reside on the streets, providing them with meals twice per day.
“This is the first one, and we will be looking to build another one in St. Catherine. We are looking at the parishes that have a concentration of persons living on the streets,” the Minister added.
He said the feeding programme for the homeless is “is going well” and the GraceKennedy Group has decided to provide sponsorship for the initiative, and that other entities need to join and assist.