Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, has strongly deplored the murder of a homeless man, Mr. Lee Donald, in Port Antonio, Portland, on Saturday. Mr. Donald’s body was found with stab wounds on West Street in the parish capital.
“This act is recorded as the fourth murder in Portland, and it also means that half of the murder victims were members of the homeless population. In addition to the murder of Mr. Donald, who suffered from mental challenges, the body of Andre Weston, who also struggled with mental issues, was found at the Folly Oval just about one month ago. We do not yet know why homeless persons are beginning to feature prominently as victims, but we are determined that this cannot continue. While the police are carrying out the necessary investigations, the work continues to identify a suitable location at which to build a Drop-In Centre for homeless persons in Portland, which will provide both care and security. The Budgetary allocation has been made for this project, and it is expected that a site will be identified and approved in good time.
“However, this cannot replace a social environment in which people, whatever their circumstances are respected, and their rights, especially the right to life are cherished. I appeal for far greater care, and far less callousness in our relations with one another. Order and mutual respect cannot be separated from the economic advancement of Jamaica.”