Wednesday 28 October, 2020

Homeless among the most vulnerable to coronavirus in St Lucia

Minister for Social Transformation, Lenard Montoute says the government is tackling the difficult issue of helping the city’s homeless in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has emptied out what usually are busy streets in Castries as governments closed businesses and put residents under lockdown.

A curfew and state of emergency came into effect on Monday, March 23, 2020, and while Saint Lucians respected the 11 pm to 5 am curfew, several homeless people were left wondering the street of Castries.

As a result of the virus, the empty streets bring to mind a post-apocalyptic movie scene in St Lucia.

“During a curfew, no one is supposed to be on the streets, and so measures are being taken and in most of the established institutions are already full so, just as arrangements were made to find space for people who are in quarantine, that is being looked at as well for the homeless,” Montoute stated.

The homeless are among the most vulnerable populations at risk of COVID-19 globally.

Montoute, who is also the parliamentary representative for Gros Islet, says he will be ensuring that his constituents are able to fight the dreaded virus.

"Today we will be distributing hand sanitizers thorough the constituency and tomorrow we will be going out to feed the poor, needy and the shut-in," Montoute said.

The government minister is also appealing to those who may know somebody requiring assistance to let his ministry or constituency office aware.

"We take calls at the constituency office, so instead of coming in you can call in and we will do whatever we can do address people's problems and at the same time we will be keeping a database as to the people who are in need and what they need so as soon as government can put a plan in place in terms of assistance, we can know who really needs the assistance," he declared.

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