Port Maria drop-in centre to open next month
PORT MARIA, St Mary:
The Port Maria Drop In Centre, now getting finishing touches, will be completed and open to coincide with the start of Local Government Month on November 1.
The centre, located at Claude Stewart Park, next to the St Mary Parish Library in the St Mary capital, is part of an initiative by the local government ministry to build drop-in centres across the island to assist homeless persons in getting food, care, and shelter.
"The drop-in centre is a concept of Minister McKenzie, (minister of local government). It is an area that homeless persons can go and be fed, be taken care of in terms of medication, that sort of thing. If they need to overnight, the facility will be able to allow them to do so," Mayor of Port Maria Richard Creary told The Gleaner on Wednesday.
Creary said he was happy that St Mary had beem included in the first batch of parishes to receive a drop-in centre.
"We were fortunate to be in the first phase, and ours is almost complete and will be opened on the first of November," he said.
Creary had just received the baton in the All-Island Local- Government Run from runners who had picked it up at the border with St Ann. He, in turn, sent the team on to the Portland border, where the all-island run would continue.
The All-Island Local Government Run, which was initiated last year, was launched in Westmoreland on October 10. It precedes a month of celebration to mark November as Local Government Month.
The month is used to highlight the importance of local government to national development.
The Social Development Commission is working closely with the ministry to ensure that tha the run and the ensuing month-long celebrations are successful.
Local Government Month will be observed under the theme, 'Protecting the Vulnerable, Establishing Hope Through Local Government.'