Fri | Dec 4, 2020

McKenzie comes good for destitute Trelawny couple

Published:Thursday | February 13, 2020 | 12:09 AMLeon Jackson/Gleaner Writer
McKenzie
McKenzie

Western Bureau:

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie brought joy to an indigent couple in Trelawny on Wednesday when he presented Lloyd and Vernice Dell, of Martha Brae, Trelawny, with the keys to their new home.

The house was constructed with funds from the J$45 million earmarked by the Poor Relief Department to assist needy persons across the island.

“The Poor Relief Department in each parish was charged to identify among the 15,000 registered poor who are in need of habitable housing,” said McKenzie, who has handed out 25 homes across the island to date.

“The building of these fully furnished studios has given new meaning to poor relief. By the end of this financial year, 35 such studios will be completed. The Government will show the importance of how those among us who are poor and destitute are treated. A housing assistance grant will be granted to each councillor so that they can give meaningful help to those in need,” added McKenzie.

BURYING PAUPERS

And in further speaking up for the nation’s poor, McKenzie also expressed unhappiness with the manner in which the poor and destitute are buried.

“I have always been displeased in how paupers are buried. This little box, which just barely covers the body, and grave which allows dogs to scratch it out, must stop. Going forward, the poor-relief system in each parish will be allocated $1 million to bury paupers. Some dignity must be added to those who are in our care when they die. A funeral grant will also be given to councillors,” stated McKenzie.

McKenzie was also quick to point out that the Poor Relief Department should not just give out funds, but also build indigent housing.

“We are also into helping to educate some from the poor and destitute who qualify. Taxpayers’ money has funded an education grant to the poor. Presently, there is a student at a university from my constituency who is being funded from this grant as he seeks to become a lawyer. He is doing well and meeting the conditions which will make him eligible to continue being funded,” said McKenzie.