The Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation’s (KSAMC) inaugural Wellness Day of Care for the Homeless is set to benefit some of the most vulnerable persons.
Officially dubbed the ‘Desmond McKenzie Wellness Day of Care for the Homeless’, the event will be held on Saturday, April 23, at the St. William Grant Park in Kingston from 10:00 a.m.
The day will be observed under the theme ‘Empowering our Most Vulnerable – Protecting the Homeless’, and will see the vulnerable homeless population of Kingston and St. Andrew provided with needed care and attention.
“We will have doctors who will be seeing persons from the homeless population and offering medical care. It is important for their own check-up and health. Some homeless persons have medical issues that can be addressed and if further medical care is required, at least they will be given direction and medical advice on how to proceed from here on,” Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Delroy Williams, told JIS News.
Along with medical attention, the homeless population will also have access to the services of psychiatrists and psychologists who will be present on the day.
Entities such as the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, the National Council on Drug Abuse and the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) will also be on site to help this vulnerable group access their services. By offering their specific services, the KSAMC’s end goal is to positively impact the independence of the vulnerable population.
“We have a programme here where we have employed persons from the homeless population in various jobs across the municipality. They have been doing a wonderful job, but there are persons with issues with birth certificates, national insurance, tax registration numbers that need to be remedied. So, we believe that starting the process to do that is important for the continuance of their lives in the world of work. We want to transition them as best as possible into the world of work,” Mayor Williams said.
The KSAMC will also carry out its feeding programme from the St. William Grant Park offering two meals on the day.
For his part, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, after whom the wellness day of care is named, said he will be assisting in every possible way on the day.
“Whatever I can do to assist, I will be doing that; so, helping with the feeding and helping with the grooming, because it will be a lot of activities. I am hoping that not just those who live on the streets but those who are finding it difficult to access certain services will come out and participate in the event,” Minister McKenzie told JIS News.
The Minister said the event will be a game changer in how the municipality interacts with the vulnerable homeless population.