JIS News

Plans to establish a Drop-in Centre for the homeless on the grounds of the Bellevue Hospital will come to fruition on Wednesday, November 8 when the centre will be officially opened.
A collaborative effort between the Committee for the Homeless under the aegis of the Board of Supervision for the Relief of the Poor in the Ministry of Local Government and Environment (MLG&E), and the Ministry of Health, the Drop-in Centre will cater to the needs of some 50 homeless persons within the Corporate Area, each day.
Head of the Fund-Raising Committee for the venture, Mr. Ezroy Millwood told JIS News that the Centre will “see to the cleaning up of homeless persons when they are taken from the street, offer them medical checks to identify their medical needs, and will also provide them with a hot meal twice per day.”
Housed in what was once a ruined building on the Bellevue grounds, the Drop-in Centre was renovated for its current purpose with financing of $4.28 million from the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.
Mr. Millwood indicated that the Centre would be staffed by “employees of the Bellevue Hospital for the time being, until resources become available for us to employ fully paid staff”.
Meanwhile, plans are in place to raise funds to help sustain the Centre. Among these plans, is a gala concert to be held at the Karram Speid Auditorium, Merle Grove High School on Friday, November 10, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
The concert will feature artistes such as Fab Five, Gem Myers, Clive Edwards, Commissioner John McFarlane, and others.
Tickets may be obtained at a cost of $2,000 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, the Hotel Four Seasons, LG Service Station at the corner of Constant Spring Road and Dunrobin Avenue, the National Transport Co-operative Society (N.T.C.S.) Office, Red Hills Mall and Mayfair Pharmacy. A gate prize of $25,000 is also a feature of the concert.
Mr. Millwood has issued an appeal for financial support for the initiative. Persons who wish to respond may lodge their contributions to the MLG&E Homeless Programme account number: 30-4483989 at the National Commercial Bank, Half-Way-Tree branch, or deliver donations to the Secretary of the Board of Supervision at 85 Hagley Park Road, Kingston.