JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Several persons in the homeless programme are acquiring skills and are gaining employment.
  • Persons who once lived on the streets are now engaged in training at the HEART Trust/NTA.
  • The MANS facility officially opened its doors in November 1993, to cater for the homeless.

Inspector of Poor at the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), Pearl Barrett, is reporting that several persons in the homeless programme are acquiring skills and are gaining employment.

Mrs. Barrett, who spoke on October 2 at the handing over of a bus to be used in the homeless initiative, administered by the Marie Atkins Night Shelter (MANS), in downtown Kingston, lauded the vision of officials who saw the need to engage persons on the streets, and noted that the transition shows that once persons are given a chance they can be improved.

She told the gathering that persons who once lived on the streets are now engaged in training at the HEART Trust/NTA, some have gained employment  in the security industry, while others are caring for themselves by working with entities like the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).

“With such strength being given to the homeless programme, there will be several more success stories added to what we already have. Several of our clients have transitioned from being homeless and destitute to living productive lives,” the Inspector of Poor said, as she highlighted how the former homeless have been giving back to others.

Mrs. Barrett said some of the homeless have been contributing their skills to the programme. “There is a barber who trims the residents at the shelter; one who assists with culinary duties on weekends, and some who assist with the gardening and cleaning of the premises,” she said.

The MANS facility officially opened its doors in November 1993, to cater for the homeless. It was born out of a partnership between the KSAC, Food for the Poor, the Salvation Army, the police, and other groups working for the homeless.