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Gov’t responds to the street-dweller problem

A young street dweller. Photo: Gerard-Paul Wanliss

by Lara Pickford-Gordon, lpgordon.camsel@rcpos.org

How many times have we seen street dwellers and wondered why the authorities do not round them up and take them to a facility? Over the years many attempts were made to get street dwellers to voluntarily leave the streets. Executive Director of the Social Displacement Unit (SDU), Ministry of Social Development and Family Services Loraine Reyes-Borel said “street sweeps” in which “a whole batch of people” were picked up do not work: “You are bringing 20–30 people in a state of disarray before the court; it traumatises the court.”

Interviewed last month at the ministry’s head office, St Vincent Street, Reyes-Borel said one of the concerns of the police is that when persons are arrested, they returned to the streets.

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