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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