A new J$25 million homeless shelter that will provide temporary shelter, meals, and bathroom amenities for the homeless citizens of Falmouth and its environs is now opened.
The Falmouth Homeless Shelter was officially opened on May 5 by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Honourable Desmond McKenzie.
The shelter, which is the first such facility outside of the Corporate Area, is located on the same premises as the Trelawny Drop-in Centre, which was opened by the Government in 2020.
“The doors of these facilities must never be closed to these persons who are in need of our help,” said the Minister.
“A lot of these persons living on our streets, some of them their families have put out, some of them leave rural areas go to Kingston, or leave the hills of Trelawny and come into Falmouth, didn’t find what they were looking for, have nowhere to go and end up on the street.”
The shelter was constructed to house up to 20 persons at a time – 14 males and six females.
Minister McKenzie also urged the clients of the new facility to preserve the shelter and behave accordingly when accessing the services.
“Regardless of the circumstances that brought them to our streets, it is not our responsibility to abuse them, and I want to challenge the people of Falmouth and the surrounding communities to be a part of this crusade that speaks to protecting, caring and most importantly, respecting these people for who they are and not where they are living,” he added.
The Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Collen J. Gager, thanked the Minister for commitment to ensure that the facility was constructed, and to protect the island’s most vulnerable citizens.
“It warms my heart to witness this opening, even as we still celebrate the opening of the drop-in centre. The streets of Falmouth have its fair share of people who just need someone or some place to cater to them. I am happy for this facility which provides shelter for the homeless at night.”
There were also commendations for the Roads and Works staff at the Trelawny Municipal Corporation, who spearheaded the construction of the shelter, under the guidance of the Ministry’s Technical Team.