IAU holds 6 vagrants
By SEAN DOUGLAS Tuesday, December 24 2013
FOLLOWING last Friday’s launch of a Christmas campaign to get homeless persons off the streets of the capital Port-of-Spain by Minister of the People and Social Development Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, his Ministry’s Inter Agency Unit (IAU) last evening continued its drive by taking six homeless persons into its care.
A convoy of IAU vehicles including a van to accommodate the homeless persons constantly circulated on a route around several city blocks of Port-of-Spain, including Independence Square, South Quay and Abercromby Street.
With the exercise starting at about 5.45 pm, by 7.45 pm, Newsday was told by Miss Hinkson, the IAU’s social services coordinator that the exercise would continue into the night “as required”.
She said the persons taken into the IAU’s care would be given a bath and a change of clothing. The unit includes uniformed police officers, plus a mental health officer. One female vagrant, identified as “Diane” was approached by the unit at the yellow band maxi-stand at the east end of South Quay.
Asked if she was loitering, she replied she was there doing, “my spiritual work”. She declined to go into the IAU’s care, instead speaking to an unseen entity whom she referred to as “Abbott”, to whom she constantly pleaded with to interact with the police so they could go away and leave her alone.
It appears that the unseen entity “Abbott” did as “Diane” requested, for no soon had her entreaties begun, the officers and other IAU officials left even as “Diane” continued her discourse with “Abbott”.
Minister Ramadharsingh did not accompany the IAU team, instead attending a festive function in his Caroni Central constituency.
Hours earlier yesterday, Minister Ramadharsingh hosted a press conference at his Port-of-Spain officer where he espoused the good work being done by the IAU team led by social services coordinator Nicole Kingston.
Also at this press conference, three former street dwellers, who were rehabilitated by the IAU and who was no longer living on the street gave details of their lives on the street and what led them to becoming street dwellers.
The three men also praised the work of the IAU saying if they were not rehabilitated by the IAU, they would still be on the street, or worse, dead.