PORT MARIA, St. Mary: Jamaicans have been called upon to get involved in the fight against homelessness across the country.
“The best way to celebrate World Homeless Day is to support local service providers for homeless people. You can volunteer at a homeless shelter, at a Drop In Centre, at an infirmary, donate clothes or food items, give of your expertise. Even if you cannot do much or give much, you are still making a difference,” said Ethlyn Douglas, Chief Executive Officer at the St. Mary Municipal Corporation.
Miss Douglas was giving remarks at the World Homeless Day ceremony in Port Maria on October 10. The day was observed locally under the theme ‘Do Better: Let’s End Violence against the Homeless’.
“The theme speaks volumes on what has been occurring in the homeless community and we, as responsible citizens must take a stand,” she added.
“We must be committed to them and their families to protect them, to help them find their footing, whether it is food, just a change of clothes, a be to rest, a place to receive medical assessment- a small step to assist our fellow human beings, our countrymen to get back at a better life.”
The observance of World Homeless Day is dedicated to the global problem that affects every country. Its main goal is to encourage people to change the lives of the homeless in their local community.
The St. Mary Poor Relief Department organized the day’s activities, which began with a march through the town of Port Maria and ended at the Drop-In Centre with a brief ceremony. Following the formalities, the clients of the Drop In Centre were feted and treated to special meals and gifted care packages.
There was participation from the students representing Port Maria High, Port Maria Primary and St. Mary Technical High Schools. Personnel from the Jamaica Fire Brigade and Jamaica Constabulary Force also participated in the march that was also supported by the Red Cross; Social Development Commission; HEART Trust NTA as well as members of the business community led by Fredrick Young, president of the St. Mary Chamber of Commerce and parish manager for JN Bank.