Volunteer groups treat Kingston's homeless

Published: Monday | December 10, 2012 Comments 0
Monique Nembhard (right), a Hands of Hope volunteer, assists this man in selecting a shirt at the Council of Voluntary Social Services' day of care at St William Grant Park, downtown Kingston, on Saturday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Monique Nembhard (right), a Hands of Hope volunteer, assists this man in selecting a shirt at the Council of Voluntary Social Services' day of care at St William Grant Park, downtown Kingston, on Saturday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Chad Bryan, Gleaner Writer

Approximately 200 volunteers from organisa-tions such as the Church, service clubs and corporate enterprises on Saturday joined forces with the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) in providing care to the homeless in the capital city, Kingston.

Arguably the marquee event of National Volunteer Week, the seventh annual day of care was staged in St William Grant Park, and provided the more vulnerable with an opportunity for care.

Hot meals were provided courtesy of Juici Patties and lunch courtesy of the Kiwanis Club of North St Andrew. The homeless were also able to benefit from medical services in the form of HIV testing, eye-screening and general check-ups as organisations such as the Diabetes Association of Jamaica, World Walk Foundation, FISH Clinic, St John's Ambulance, Jamaica Medical Doctors' Association and Children First were present.

Other benefits included personal care treatment such as grooming and the provision of clothing.

Sixty-five-year-old Willel Thomas said his house was razed by fire a few months ago and expressed gratitude at the provisions of clothing and other amenities.

"It means a lot to me. I was burned out in late October and I am happy that they could give me help with clothes and toiletries," Thomas said.

Elaine Walker, inspector of the poor from the Poor Relief Department, commended the CVSS for the implementation of this initiative.

"Caring for the homeless, when nobody else remembers, is an act that must be commended. The volunteers who continue to support and the agencies which continue to partner with the council must be lauded for their continuous support to the homeless," Walker said.

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