JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The launch forms part of the activities to mark Local Government and Community Month (November).
  • The poor relief programme is administered through the Ministry of Local Government, and caters to the homeless, as well as both indoor and outdoor poor.
  • Ms. Lewis is encouraging persons to come out and support the event, and make a donation, whether in cash or kind, which will touch the life of someone in need.

The Board of Supervision (BOS) will be launching its Poor Relief collection drive, at an Open Day, on the grounds of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development,  at 85 Hagley Park Road, in Kingston, on November 20, beginning at  10:00 a.m.

The launch forms part of the activities to mark Local Government and Community Month (November).

Committee Member at the BOS, Treka Lewis, informed JIS News that the day’s event will provide the appropriate platform for persons to become aware of the roles and responsibilities of the BOS, in its effort to safeguard the nation’s most vulnerable.

“We are seeking to sensitize persons about the work of the BOS, because many persons are not aware of what we do, so we aim to increase awareness of our mandate. We also want to shed some more light on the Poor Relief Department (PRD), and how it relates to the social welfare services offered, that persons can benefit from,” she said.

She noted that the poor relief programme is administered through the Ministry, and caters to the homeless, as well as both indoor and outdoor poor.

“Outdoor poor are destitute persons living in communities islandwide, who are given assistance, through various means by the PRD. Indoor poor is basically where we look about the residential aspects of needy persons, in particular, those who are placed in infirmaries and golden age homes. The homeless programme, naturally speaks to persons living on the nation’s streets, who are in need of care and assistance,” she said.

Highlighting the mission of the PRD, which is ‘alleviating poverty in all its forms’, Ms. Lewis added that the BOS is working  assiduously to garner support from private sector organizations, as well as individuals, to effectively meet the needs of the poor in Jamaica.

“The government alone cannot fund the PRD, so we are urging those who can assist, to do so, as a means of showing that you care, for the less fortunate, “she said.

Ms. Lewis  pointed out that there is always a need for food, clothing, toiletries, as well as reading glasses that are very beneficial to the poor and needy.

“If we can get a sustained amount of these supplies to facilitate the wellbeing of persons registered under the programme,  then without a doubt, we will be able to assist a lot of persons in need. This in turn, will totally reduce some of the cost on the government, because we are in a tight fiscal space, and whatever help we can get from persons, to better provide for persons listed as poor, we welcome it, openly and graciously,” she said.

Ms. Lewis  pointed out that in relation to  the poor relief collection drive, persons who wish to donate items can do so at the various PRD parish offices islandwide, or infirmaries, golden age homes, as well as the Ministry’s Head Office.

Highlights of the day’s proceedings include booth displays by several organizations and individuals, showcasing services offered, as well as live entertainment by renowned Saxophonist, Craig Henry.

Participating agencies are: Jamaica Fire Brigade, Quench Water, Tyre Warehouse, Juicy Beef, Social Development Commission (SDC), Open Arms Drop in Centre, National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC), Sherwin Williams, and Guardian Group.

Ms. Lewis is  encouraging persons to come out and support the event, and make a donation, whether in cash or kind, which will touch the life of someone in need.

For more information, persons can contact the BOS at 929-1301 or the Ministry at 754-0992.

An agency of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, the PRD currently caters to 3,550 persons, which include: adults, children, senior citizens, and mentally and physically challenged persons, who are destitute, and entitled to poor relief benefits.