Times of Suriname

Ho­me­less pe­o­p­le to be ‘evic­ted’ from shel­ters


The ho­me­less pe­o­p­le soon will not ha­ve any shel­ter to go to. The Bu­reau for the Ho­me­less will clo­se its shel­ters lo­ca­ted at La­tour and along the Wi­chers­straat. About 37 re­si­dents will end up back on the streets be­cau­se of this. Hund­reds of ho­me­less pe­o­p­le who flock to the shel­ters for a warm me­al will lo­se their sour­ce of food. On De­cem­ber 27 the He­alth Mi­ni­stry in­for­med the em­ploy­ees that both shel­ters would be shut down. The Bu­reau for the Ho­me­less has been strug­gling to stay af­lo­at for ma­ny ye­ars. Re­za Doek­hie, di­rec­tor at the Bu­reau for the Ho­me­less, said that the mi­ni­stry ma­de it clear that both lo­ca­ti­ons would be clo­sed down. Doek­hie poin­ted out that the mi­ni­stry ga­ve its as­su­ran­ce that the em­ploy­ees would not be­co­me un­em­ploy­ed. Ho­we­ver, on­ly the em­ploy­ees who pass the scree­ning would be put to work at the Psy­chi­a­tric Cen­ter Su­ri­na­me (PCS). Clau­dia Co­tin, head of the shel­ter at La­tour, is puzz­led by the fact that no­bo­dy talks about the re­si­dents who li­ve at the shel­ter. Both shel­ters will be shut down but no­bo­dy is saying whe­re the re­si­dents will be pla­ced. Co­tin poin­ted out that not all of the re­si­dents can find shel­ter at the PCS be­cau­se on­ly so­me of them ha­ve men­tal pro­blems. She ma­de it clear that the in­ner ci­ty will be flood­ed again with ho­me­less pe­o­p­le if they do not find a pla­ce to stay. “The Bu­reau for the Ho­me­less is re­al­ly the right pla­ce for the­se pe­o­p­le,” said Co­tin who ad­ded that she is puzz­led by the mi­ni­stry’s de­ci­si­on be­cau­se He­alth Mi­nis­ter An­toi­ne Eli­as had per­so­nal­ly told her that she had no­thing to fear as the bu­reau would remain at its lo­ca­ti­on and the buil­ding would be re­no­va­ted. “I find it un­for­tu­na­te that the mi­ni­stry will shut down the shel­ters soon be­cau­se I ha­ve now­he­re el­se to go. My fa­mi­ly no lon­ger wants me and I can’t go to the PCS be­cau­se I am not men­tal­ly ill,” said Do­li­an­ki Al­fai­si, re­si­dent at the bu­reau’s La­tour Shel­ter.

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