Port of Spain Mayor, Joel Martinez, on Wednesday received the keys to the temporary Center for Displaced Persons on behalf of the Council and the Port of Spain Corporation.
This took place at a small media conference held at the Center which is located at the Riverside Car Park Facility, South Quay, Port of Spain.
The keys were presented to his Worship by the Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Senator Donna Cox, also in attendance, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, Sheila Seecharam, Joanne Archie, Deputy Commissioner of Police Administration and Anthony Salloum, Managing Director of One by One Management Services Ltd.
Martinez said he made a commitment to establish a permanent home for the displaced in the capital.
“The city has been been working together with the minister and the NGOs to make this very possible and not just very possible, but very possible in the near future. We have the commitment from the police, we have the commitment from the ministry, we have the commitment from the Port of Spain corporation, we have the commitment from the NGOs, and so we are going to work tirelessly to get this done.”
Minister Cox said the target is to relocate the homeless to another facility by the end of 2021. The temporary facility was built by members of the Defence Force in April 2020, after the government imposed stay-at-home restrictions. In February the ministry announced its decision to close the facility.
Cox said she found it critical to reopen the space after hearing concerns about the homeless roaming the deserted streets on the first three nights of the curfew