Vagrancy in Roseau being addressed – Douglas

A man searches for something in a drain Roseau
A vagrant searches for something in a drain in Roseau

Minister for Tourism Ian Douglas has said that there is ongoing dialogue “with a number of stakeholders” to address the vexing issue of vagrancy in Roseau.

“Vagrancy is something that affects the visitor experience … guests must feel comfortable in the destination,” Douglas said at a press conference on Thursday which was attended by a delegation from the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA).

The delegation, which consists of cruise executives of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Princess Cruise and Disney Cruise Lines, will assess Dominica’s cruise tourism product and visit several of the island’s tourism sites.

According to Douglas, vagrancy is something that cannot be tolerated in Dominica. “We don’t want those guys coming on to the Bay Front and touching the guests and harassing the guests…” he said.

He said several meetings have been held to discuss the matter.  “We’ve had meetings with a number of stakeholders particularly the Ministry of Health to see how we can deal with those vagrants in the city,” he stated.

He noted that among one of the areas explored was getting the vagrants away from the Bay Front or the entire city, “put them in a place where we can treat them humanely with a warm bath and a meal and stuff and get them away from the general area while the guests and the ship are in port.”

Vagrancy in Roseau has been a matter of great discussion recently. At the recent Tourism Awards Ceremony, Douglas lamented that it has severely affected Dominica’s rating among tourism destinations in the Caribbean.

The minister said he hopes that by the beginning of the next tourism season, a solution will be found and he called on all institutions on the island, even those the outside tourism industry, to assist.

Earlier this year Chief Environmental Officer, Anthony Scotland, said although the matter is not easy to deal with, it must be addressed as a matter of urgency. “Some people might be talking that they have their human rights and all sort of things but you cannot afford to have a town of loose vagrants going up and down, creating problems for you and the environment,” he remarked. “It is a problem we must address in Dominica quickly.”

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82 Comments

  1. Italy bartender
    May 18, 2013

    That’s the same thing a guest was complaining about dominica, saying they have been harass for a dollar and asking? y so much poor people on the street of dominica and will never return some order guest heard and say where is that I felt so bad and say dominica republic I was feeling so ashamed!!! Because i was telling them how beautiful dominica was so sad!!!They serious need to get them off the street !! Get them out!!! This is real bad for we Dominican that’s what the PM need to mind!!!

  2. looking 2
    May 17, 2013

    Dat man with de big eyes staring into people as he continue to say the same thing everyday with no plan of his own always waiting for someone else to do his job for him.Act like a man and do the work you are paid to do,rumson|

  3. Conscience
    May 17, 2013

    Mr. Minister we also need to address the issue of the # of stray dogs roaming & messing the streets. This is so disgusting especially when it rain.

  4. R to The O
    May 17, 2013

    Vagrancy is everywhere, however it is controlled and taken care of as a priority on many other caribbean islands. I dont see it in St.Thomas, St.Croix, St.Martin, Antigua, Barbados, and not even in the Bahamas, so Dominica has there work cut out for them.

    • Italy bartender
      May 18, 2013

      Nor st Barth,Saba and anguilla none of them not even Barbados I agree with you @R to The O

  5. Agent 47
    May 17, 2013

    Vagrancy is part of our culture, there is no need to take action against it. the tourist love the attention the laughs they share as they are enticed to give money, makes a good family laugh. its what makes us unique. I oppose

  6. Delicious
    May 17, 2013

    A blogger wrote: “vagrancy is the product of a society steeped in poverty and neglect. The captioned photo tells the story – hunger, unemployment, social rejection, marginalization”.

    I’d like to remind you that there are vagrants in developed country as well. You see them diving in the garbage bins in the U.S., the same way they do in DA. The U.S. and other developed countries have resources available to assist these citizens, but they still exist and not all of them are mentally ill. My point is that the same unfortunate situation occur in wealthy nations.

  7. Anonymous
    May 17, 2013

    Welcome to HELL, Dominica! You elected this guy?

  8. SORRY
    May 17, 2013

    WE first have take control of those drug pushers, dealers then rehab these drug users and then something can be done if we are to afraid to grab the bull by the horn we are doom as a nation

  9. DonK
    May 17, 2013

    Enough is Enough!!

    Mr. Prime Minister PLEASE replace Mr Douglas!

    “…ongoing dialogue with a number of stakeholders to address…” Blah Blah Blah!

    just recycling the same crap!

  10. William Mc Lawrence
    May 17, 2013

    Vagrancy is an issue across Dominica.Let’s deal with it head-on. Develop a strategy to deal with it, get funding to build a vagrant recover centre.

    Vagrancy is one of the issues affecting our island’s image… deal with it not just talk about it.

    Good customer service starts with us as individuals, our families, our communities, our country men and our guests/ visitors.

    Let’s learn to appreciate our environment by keeping it clean, green and beautiful;

    let’s recognize the value added to our country’s image by delivering excellent customer service at all times to both our internal and external customers

    Again let’s address the issue of VAGRANCY by dealing with it rather than just talking about it. We know most of the vagrants. We know the key issues associated with vagrancy – illegal drug use/ chemical dependency is one such issue… so do something now while we still have time. :wink:

  11. Jaime Lewis
    May 17, 2013

    Mr. Minister, please appeal to the hundreds of Dominicans in the Diaspora to help you. If everyone donated $1 a year toward a rehabilitation program, that would be over $100,000 to help those who are roaming the streets.
    All the ones who are yacking away on the internet need to put their money where their mouth is and help our country before it is too late. $1 a year is not too much to ask.

  12. Just saying
    May 17, 2013

    I’m thinking it’s high time many of us return home and look after our peoples on the land!!…We have lived out there,fully compact with experiences in many differ fields..We have the body of knowledge that could better our peoples and this land!…Because it’s obvious,the ones in positions to deal with such matters, have failed the peoples of Dominica…They have run out of ideas or have enjoyed more the benefits of a good earns at the end of each month!!..
    By hiding these Vagrancy is NOT the solution to solve the problems..Just because you are to ashamed to have peoples travel all over the world and see the state of your peoples?..To land on Dominica for one day and thinking by getting rid of evidence of the lack and slackness of your improper cares for these peoples?!…A big stadium was built…Coasting billions…How many times is it in use?..Start putting money into constructive use..Build a rehab for these men and women…A place they can call a home..A place they can get a meal to eat…They are HUMANS..Just hoping and needing a chance..Get them off the streets..Find some jobs for them to do..So they can feel they are of some use to society!!
    I left home and we had few of these men roaming our streets..Today they have doubled in numbers..Why and how did that escalated?..Some one surly did not care and was incompetent to fulfill the job of caring for it’s peoples…It’s high time some of us go back home and deal with this situations..
    Some of YOU, the public have also no tolerance..You tease and criticized them..Even beat up on them..Some of you look down on them…It’s time you educate yourself in how to talk to these peoples..Fear is ignorance!
    And stop blaming it on entirely drugs…Governments are into drugs too.Only,they know how to handle and hid it well!

  13. Aye Dominique
    May 16, 2013

    I do not even want to read this long article, I am so fed up of all this rhetoric . Address the root of the problem please!!!! Too much drugs in the dang country, too much and no opportunity for the you g people. While they are there feeding people from red clinic, mansion going up in every corner of Dominica with burglar bars and high fences. But something tells me when the shit really hits the fan, no burglar bar of fence will be able to shield those people creating that atmosphere of doom and gloom in Dominica while enriching themselves.

    You see what he is doing, he will put this thing back down anyhow and somebody might either break their foot in it or a tyre will burst while passing on it. This is what we come to in Dominica.

  14. Mamizoo
    May 16, 2013

    The blogger with the handle Incar may want to comment

  15. Ain't got time 4 dis
    May 16, 2013

    I think we should lock them away because they harass people in the town, not only just the tourists. One time I nearly lost it when one push his hand in my purse, the one that walks around with his pants and his pwelle showing.

    I think they should round them up when there is a boat and give them food clothing, bath etc.

  16. Solution
    May 16, 2013

    I don’t know why Francisco Etienne Dodds continue to cry down everyone in the country who is trying to create something positive. We as Dominicans have the right to offer solutions and to help the government rid of problems which ails the country. We are too busy bad mouthing sitting on our tooches and doing nothing. Dominicans chat too much and never join collectively to assist the government. What have you done Mr.Dodds to help soo many situations in Dominica? the ony thing i see you do is chat chat chat

    • May 19, 2013

      You are so darn stupid, I suspect you would be better off if you strung a rope around your neck and string yourself up in the tallest tree you find!

      Do not mention my name in your madness; what did I say in my comments which gave you cause to talk crap about me crying down everybody Dominica?

      It is because of fools, and idiots like you which causes people to expose the stupidity of your kind: like, or dislike what I say, you cant change my opinions!

      You want to know why?

      Because I have an independent mind, I think, and analyze things for myself, I do not follow the crowed into the garbage bin as you, I am sure not going to kiss the butt of the nobody’s like you or any politicians,in order to be liked.

      I do not need any favors okay, so politics does not mean anything to me I am not seeking any favor, job or free money, nor am I seeking to walk side by side with any politicians holding on to their coat tail to be recognized by anybody, that game belongs to fools like you play.

      I am who I am.

      Me myself, and I!

      You idiot!

      Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

  17. I DIE NU
    May 16, 2013

    Crack Cocaine must be irradicated in DA.

    • Justice and Truth
      May 16, 2013

      ‘eradicated’
      I do agree with you.

  18. May 16, 2013

    really what is he looking for down there? :idea: 8)

    • Malgraysa
      May 16, 2013

      It’s obvious. An escape route to Guadeloupe!!

  19. Gwo Kappa
    May 16, 2013

    …one of the main causes of the “vagrants” problem is Cocaine/Crack…. :twisted: :oops: …can you “deal” with that,Mr.Minister? :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    • Justice and Truth
      May 16, 2013

      If that is the problem and only one then as the minister stated, they will be taken away from there and given something to it. You know, idleness is the devil’s playground. By all means they need to be kept busy and away from the tourists. It will be a welcome change, also for Dominican visitors.

  20. Trolol
    May 16, 2013

    Obviously you are suppose to respect guest more than yourselves.. You all know the ‘sin’ and can cope with it because we all live here. You don’t want tourist to go back overs and tell possible visitors your island is a piece of a . Customer comes first!

    • Justice and Truth
      May 16, 2013

      Especially that their main reason to visit the island, view its beautiful scenery, take a bathe in either the sea and river if they have time and to travel throughout the island and walk the streets in peace and safety. They spend a lot of money to travel to the islands. Their primary reason is to have a happy and enjoyable time and not a stressful one and in fear for their property and life.
      If their visit was an enjoyable one, they will return happily and will inform others about it. Satisfied people/customers/passengers are advertisers. Therefore, I hope in future the tourists will experience a wonderful visit in DA and that is, those who have respect for our country and its nationals.

    • Anonymous
      May 17, 2013

      You are wrong… if we cannoy respect ourselves and those around us how can we respect our guests/ visitors?.

  21. %
    May 16, 2013

    Vagrancy will worsen in this country since the government being incompetent and incapable of managing the affairs of the country has been the main architect in culturing this MENDICANCY SYNDROME on island.
    Many Many Many Many Many young and strong men and women will just not work, but will prefer to beg.
    Election is across the horizon over there, WAIT AND SEE HOW THE CULTURE BEGGING SO CALLED LEADERS WILL BECOME EVEN MORE INTENSE. Have you all heard of “THE RED CLINIC?” PAPA BAT!

  22. Faceup
    May 16, 2013

    Ian Douglas Do you have any advisor who is a recovering drug addict?. That person would be the one to advice you best. Cause you talking crap.

    • Justice and Truth
      May 16, 2013

      No exception yourself as well. :twisted: You do not seem to want what is good for Dominica and its progress. :twisted: Imagine if every national was like you. :twisted: Thank God they are not all as you.

  23. Faceup
    May 16, 2013

    Omg, those sick people are not Junkies, they are humans, God did not create Junkies God created humans, these humans need help every day to address there problems, and not just feed and give them a warm shower when the cruise ships are in port. What about in patient rehabs, soup kitchens, medical help, and the list go on and on , so when you do that you get results.

  24. Be wlse
    May 16, 2013

    Were are you going to hide them? Who’s going to feed them? Who’s going to grad them ?who going to see to that they do not romeo the street of Roseau? Is that the only problem Dominica is facing in terms of tourism?This is not the government problem only,As Dominican. This is all of us problem,And on less we see it as that. It will never change. Tourism is evrey body business,come 0n put your hand on the will, the problem with the vengeance all over dominica is our business. What erve way you can help do lt.

  25. Annica Alethea
    May 16, 2013

    Roseau is stinking AGAIN! Clean up Roseau and all over the island while you purge the vagrants.

  26. stehen
    May 16, 2013

    it has been widely reported that creak cocaine is responsible for all the paro in Dominca, it was sang about in this years calipso{ BIG PAPA building his mansion on white powder} is there still people that dont know the problem , the roots of the problem?????

  27. Me
    May 16, 2013

    The black smoke that is being release from buses and other vehicles must be and should be look into to improve our tourism product. All buses are releasing the Carbon Monoxide

  28. The Authorities
    May 16, 2013

    There is no need to clean our house unless guests are coming.

    If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, it does not make a sound.

    • malgraysa
      May 16, 2013

      So only tourists are real people and he locals are ghosts, iaginary human beings who don’t exist and therefore don’t count? tell us you are joking as I’m not too sure.

    • Justice and Truth
      May 16, 2013

      Where do you reside? There is a need to clean our house in case guests arrive unexpectedly. They do make surprise visits and last minute ones.

    • Tab
      May 17, 2013

      Can you please clarify your statement. I am not altogether sure of what you are saying. Are you saying that we should live in squalor and filth while waiting for someone to visit. ?? And not to listen for the tree falling so that we can take action before it falls on us. ??

  29. woy
    May 16, 2013

    sorry but look BOWDEL

  30. Anonymous
    May 16, 2013

    only when the visitors are there you want to hide them? what about us who have to be harassed by them daily. we not important enough

    • Justice and Truth
      May 16, 2013

      Are you aware how many years in the past we were harassed by them and no government minister made the effort to do something? Why are you criticizing him? Well, look at it this way. The time has come for a change and to do something about it. It is never too late.

  31. malgraysa
    May 16, 2013

    Ian, I truly hope is not just cheap veneer you are applying like the coat of paint that was slapped on to the vendors’ stalls on the bay front over the last two days. That is so obvious it is embarrassing. You think those professionals visiting us don’t see through this. Come with a real, longterm plan and I would give you my full support.

  32. Proud
    May 16, 2013

    Vagrancy is a world wide problem. In order to solve a problem we have to be able to identify the cause of the problem and understand the problem. Every vagrant on the street is someone’s son,father, brother, cousin, friend. It is not only the issue of human rights it is enabling those individuals to regain their dignity. The Housing First model has helped many communities world wide in reducing the level of homelesness or vagrancy as we call it.First the government needs to understand that some of these homeless individuals just need a chance. Is there a place in Roseau where any homeless person can get at least one hot meal per day or even take a shower and get a change of clothing. I don’t think so. These are some of the things that we may need to consider. People this is our responsibility as Dominicans.

    • Justice and Truth
      May 16, 2013

      It primarily commenced with parents, father and mother. Then the government, the school and the church. Something went wrong in their early life at home. Did they receive discipline and training from both parents? If they received them were they obedient to their parents? If not, then, a pattern was set which they followed and therefore cannot help themselves. Aside from being under the influence of illegal drugs, some of them may be suffering from a mental problem. These are the causes.
      The three concerned should take an interest in their welfare and try to mold them into obedient and responsible children who later will be adults.
      Today, people see things differently. Some of them blame the government rather than place the blame primarily on their parents. Do not lose sight of this.

    • Please
      May 17, 2013

      Please, haven’t you heard of the Grotto Home for the Homeless? There is a place to go, however these people don’t like the idea of a routine, eg. a time to go to bed or to eat breakfast lunch dinner. They want the freedom of doing whatever they want at whatever time they please and that’s why they prefer the streets. Plus they get a constant supply of drugs out there so that’s more attractive to them.

    • me
      May 17, 2013

      it is called The Grotto Home for the Homeless

  33. Francisco Telemaque
    May 16, 2013

    Every Dominican should by now be weary with Ian Douglas, and the crap he continues to speak. Many times in the past we heard the same useless rhetoric “ongoing dialogue with a number of stakeholders to address some issue on the island.”

    In this case he is talking about “vagrancy.” First of all to deal with a situation like that one have to figure out what caused such conditions in a small island such as Dominica, with a population of far below seventy thousand people.

    People are not born vagrants, hence something had to transpire in such people’s life’s in order to cause them to become a vagrant. A vagrant is one who wander from place to place, one who has no established residence, and wanders idly from place to place without lawful, or any visible means support.

    Prostitutes, and drunkards in the streets also constitutes statutory vagrancy!

    It is interesting to note that many of the people we consider vagrants are actually mentally ill people., most are very intelligent, however, due to the lack of opportunity’s; job opportunities, a lack of employment these unfortunates have no alternative than to wander the streets in search of food, and sleep wherever Sun goes down on them.

    Now a simple question must be answered, and it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out we have not done enough to create full employment on the island so that anyone who need a job could find one. It is my believe that it is easier to create employment for seventy thousand people than a hundred thousand; or one million people.

    So, my conclusion here is simply this, rather than Douglas every other week comes with his repetitive rhetoric, it is time he recognized that the ball is in the governments court, and people like him who are elected to find solutions, and resolve to our nations problems, should not be talking crap about “Stakeholders.”

    The private sector has some responsibility also, however, the government is more responsible for the vagrancy on the island than anyone else!

    “The delegation, which consists of cruise executives of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Princess Cruise and Disney Cruise Lines, will assess Dominica’s cruise tourism product and visit several of the island’s tourism sites.”

    My question to Ian Douglas is this are the mentioned in the delegation going to come to Dominica, and help clean the street by providing jobs directly to the vagrants?

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    • Me again
      May 16, 2013

      Bravo, FET!

    • define
      May 16, 2013

      Is it really the Govt’s job to create the jobs or to create the environment whereby the private sector can grow, hence creating jobs in the process. The Gov’t cannot and will never be able to employ everyone. We need to get out of this idea that government must employ us all! I do agree that we need to look at the root cause of the problem, I have been reading comments about how the mentally ill are that way because they are intelligent ppl who could not find a job and wandered around aimlessly. NONESENSE! Some of us who know these people know that half if not more of them are uneducated drug addicts! So let us stop making excuses. Drugs is a big problem here, one joint is one too many. We see ppl smoking like its no ones business with no regard for the law.

      I also see our small population being more of a curse than a blessing. There are times I have felt like opening some business but guess what, when i do my analysis i realize that the market is just not what I would like in order to reap a profit. The areas such as Roseau, with a large population are saturated with substandard business places not even bothered too much about improving the level of service to our people. We stay in our caribbean neighbors not because they are better places to live but we see nice malls and pretty places with parking etc we get hooked.

    • concerned
      May 16, 2013

      Why don’t you start by creating jobs for at least 5 people. then there will 5 people less fustrated. it is easy to sit and talk ( write) behind your computer). Stop depending only on government. we tend to forget we the people are the force of a country.

    • Anonymous
      May 17, 2013

      Obviously, it seems like you just spend time writing these long letters blaming, blaming, blaming. You seem to be a very intelligent individual so why don’t you suggest some viable solutions to the problem. Vagrancy is a worldwide problem and there is no easy solution but we must control it. Maybe you need to get with Mr. Douglas and rather than keep pointing fingers, get on the resolution board. When you have a country like Dominica where it’s difficult to stand alone economically how do you expect the government to solve all these problems alone? The prime Minister goes out to get help, he is critized. Yet, when he asks locals to make certain sacrifices to help things, everybody is upset. Dominica needs some infrastructure. The place is just in disarray. I go to picard and the houses are just placed whereever. By just cleaning your yards and everyone getting together and fixing their roads in front of their houses is a start. Just like vagrancy, give a vagrant a meal and some clean clothes, that’s a start. Possie, you are doing a good job so far. Keep it up.

      • Paix bouche always
        May 17, 2013

        What’s your problem? Dodd did not run for any constituency and promise any changes, that’s why you elect a person, to effect changes and create a better community, if they cannot inspire change and solve societies problem then what is the point of elections? I admit we all have a responsibility but the buck starts with them. With all the income taxes and vat Picard people and Ross pay you don’t think is time for planning and ministry of works to do some work in the place. Again if there was a functional planning ministry the Picard you cry about would not be in that state. Stop crying and seeking to make excuses, the writing is on the wall.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  34. coyote
    May 16, 2013

    The first step to solving a problem is admitting it.The second step is to identify the cause of the
    problem and i say to you Mr Minister the problem is drugs namely “crack”,the problem is joblessness,the problem is hopelessness .So unless we are prepared to eradicate crack and unemployment from our society
    and give these young people hope and aspiration we will continue to have this problem.Just hiding dem “paro” when the tourist are in town won’t work.

  35. Truth be told
    May 16, 2013

    From Government to the people – Dominica today is a country of vagrants and therefore one cannot correct the other. Just look how long it is taking this government to address such a basic problem and the people just accept the mediocrity! But you know what the Cruise industry came down and now we panicking. We already lost bananas under this government now tourism is at risk of being lost today! Grandma say “pluis tard pluis twiste”

    • Justice and Truth
      May 16, 2013

      Parents – government – church – the people.

  36. Morihei Ueshiba
    May 16, 2013

    Skerro, so long you are prime minister you cannot create jobs so people can earn income, u building state palace, and modest home while the poor suffer!

    • smh
      May 16, 2013

      chupes. so is the tax payers money he using t build his house? do you have any proof of that? allu just like to talk. say the things that he not doing well instead of bashing d man every second. i support him but there are things he does i dont like too. but when he does something good i give thumbs up to the man. i doe care how much thumbs down i get is allu business that

    • Justice and Truth
      May 16, 2013

      First things first. You must first find out the cause why these people are vagrants prior to turning on the government as you do and making unwise statements. Utilize your common sense if you have any. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

    • me
      May 17, 2013

      how is it skerro to create jobs

    • stupes
      May 17, 2013

      It is not the government´s job to employ every Dominican! That said it is their job however to facilitate or create an environment with fosters investments and growth in the private sector. You see it is the private sector which is truly responsible for the job creation. With a small population like ours it is difficult to attract foreign investors to our shores since our overall buying power is so small. The other islands though smaller in size make up for it with a stronger buying potential. We also have a weird culture in Dominica for running foreigners back to their homeland, that is a bad approach. Our own people to do not stay and develop the country, and those who try are met with strong opposition and slander. The others who are here try and try hard to make it with those who are not trying, having given up already or were far too lazy to give it an honest go. We start looking for the short-cut, how to get out quickly, but there is no quick fix. We take drugs to help us live to see the next day because we cannot face the reality of things. I mean buying some crack is so easy, everyone knows someone who buys or sells it. When i say everyone i mean everyone, including these corrupt police officers who let it happen for a little piece of the profit.

      With all that I believe that education, rehabilitation, recreation and job creation are the solutions. Give people something to do or else the devil will find something for their hands!

  37. DC
    May 16, 2013

    Mr. Minister, I commend you for identifying and admitting the problem, however, we need solutions immediately to tackle the problem. This must be addressed for all. The Dominican Public, the Visitors, as well as the unfortunate people of Dominica. We must make an attempt to rehabilitate these people. You must never limit your strategies to a visitor’s point of view. All are affected, and so solutions must benefit everyone. Blessed Love!

    • Justice and Truth
      May 16, 2013

      Solutions eh? You think this happens overnight, in a twinkling of an eye and just say the word and it will be done? Do you know the saying, “Rome was not built in a day?” Common sense should dictate that this problem is not an easy one to solve. It takes much thought, discussions and preparation to arrive at a solution and to implement it. There are steps to be followed. Why do you not adopt them?

  38. Me again
    May 16, 2013

    According to the minister’s message, vagrancy is now a disease, like leprosy, to be treated by the Ministry of Health? LOL.. Vagrants are to be hidden from visitors so the visitors don’t get infected. Is that what Mr. Douglas is implying?

    Let me advise the minister that vagrancy is the product of a society steeped in poverty and neglect. The captioned photo tells the story – hunger, unemployment, social rejection, marginalization.

    This situation has been building up for years. Why don’t we get to the cause of the problem and plan to solve it? Covering it up with a Band-Aid, like an open sore, is no solution, Mr. Minister.

  39. Dr. Ben Haynes PsyD
    May 16, 2013

    So Mr. Douglas, the problem with the homeless, vagrants can only be dealt with when the tourist dollar signs are up for grab. What a shameful, disgusting policy, one of neglect & scorn. A country with less than 60,000 inhabitants, you are telling the world that you dont have a policy or policies in place to rectify this preventable curse? Yes Mr. Minister, it is a human right issue. Homelessness, and vagrancy is a problem in most modern countries and Mr. Douglas, how a nation treats its poor, the neglected is how that nation is judged. When a govt fails to develop programs to increase employment, to improve the social contract, it is calling for trouble. Tourist dollars is eazy money. lt goes away as eazy as it comes. The poor we will always have with us, and any of us in the twinkling of an eye can be out on the streets. You are in a position to set things right. lf the Chinese can come in and build super sport arenas, bridges and libraries surely they can build or renovate old buildings for the less fortunate. D/ca is small enough to accommodate the homeless. So, hiding them from the tourist will not solve the problem and, ignoring them can have serious repurcussions. When a segment of the population is ignored to the point of being scorned that segment suddenly believes that they have nothing to lose hence, crime. Be careful what you pray for Sir, you may get it. That same money from the tourist will be spent on jails, more police officers, and perhaps undertakers.

    • Zicack Girl
      May 16, 2013

      Great point

      • Justice and Truth
        May 16, 2013

        We also have to think beyond and this is further.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Justice and Truth
      May 16, 2013

      It is not a matter of hiding them. It is a matter of placing them in safe housing where they could be fed and taken care of, if they will allow it. They have been a nuisance for too long in the streets of Roseau. I have visited DA and I have been harassed, in that, they begged for money. Other DA visitors have complained about them. They are also bold. A friend who visited DA from the USA told me that she was asked for money. She gave the young man one dollar. He remarked that it was not enough. This occurred a few years ago. All visitors found them a nuisance.
      What if they attack visitors if they did not give them money? I am certain this occurred. Recently a few tourists were attacked and one, near the Bay Front. Her chain was pulled from her neck and her purse was stolen. If I recall reading on DNO her husband was with her.
      Therefore, if I were all of you critics, consider this. Unless it happened to you, you will not know how it feels. The best you can do is to support Minister Douglas and wish this undertaking well. All Dominicans will also benefit from it. How nice it would be to walk the streets of Roseau and not be bothered by those vagrants and smelly ones? Something concrete really needs to be done about them.
      When this project of placing them elsewhere prior to and during the tourists visits, after the tourists depart they may grow accustomed to their new-found area and never roam the Roseau streets again. Would this not be a good thing for the town and nationals including visitors?

  40. Anonymous
    May 16, 2013

    if you listen closely to some of them you will realize that they are not mentally ill. they know peoples names etc around town. i too am just fed up of being harassed. and yes get rid of the fellas who pull up by the bridge in potters ville dealing drugs day and night like is bread in the shop. the other day i passed and see two new faces there. get this young people engaged in productive work so i will not have to retire at 100 or worse yet, never at all.

  41. Student
    May 16, 2013

    “…and get them away from the general area while the guests and the ship are in port.” ? Seriously?

    Mr. Douglas, How about partnering with the Grotto Home (which is already a home for them) and extending it by developing an area for rehabilitation, one for recreation,and one for learning skills that perhaps could put them on the road to recovery and independence. I believe some of them can lead normal lives if given a chance to.

    This initiative could also create jobs. Kindly look into it.

  42. Sug
    May 16, 2013

    They are troubling the residence as well… I see soo much new ones on the rooad everyday… I wonder what the hell is going on…

    and most are young people -_-

  43. unkown
    May 16, 2013

    So after the cruise ship leave they will be sent back to harass the ppl of d/ca hmmmmm wow nice solution lol… why don’t they just build a rehabilitation center for them?????… it doesn’t need to be a mansion but at least they would have a home to leave in and we wont have to worry about them bothering tourist and Dominicans

    • Say sa Meme
      May 16, 2013

      Well that is exactly what I am thinking. What about the Dominicans, both the ones that live there and the ones that are visiting, who are also harrassed and abused by the same people Douglas is talking about.Everybody, tourist and locals, have the right to walk in the street and not be harrased and be subjected to the behaviour of anyone else. I am a Dominican, I was in DA last year and a man just puch me in the middle of Roseau, just like that, unprovoked. I had to control myself so I would not spend the rest of my time in Jail. Ten minutes later, here come “Yellow”, harrassing me, on top of that. I mean do you think someone should have to go through that. Dominica is my home, so I will always come back, but tourist and other visitors have a choice, they DO NOT HAVE TO COME BACK, How can I encourage my friends to come to DA to visit, when they may experience these types of behaviour.
      This situation has been allowed to go too far, and now they want to address it? I guess better late than never, but this needs some good professional help and resources to try to turn these people around. Putting them away when tourist are there is NOT the answer. They need rehabilitation, they need a sense of purpose.

    • Zicack Girl
      May 16, 2013

      You are right, you hit the nail on the head; this is what has to be done!

  44. Malatete
    May 16, 2013

    Good intiative Hon. Minister but I hope it is followed up by real action and not only when cruise ships are in town. Locals suffer equally, and more often. I would also like the police to arrest those that are seen smoking their crack cocaine in public. it is an infernal sight, dehumanisizing and intolerable and I can not accept that they are so oblivious to it.

  45. none
    May 16, 2013

    ” get them away from the general area while the guests and the ship are in port”

    Really?? You’ll never solve the problem of vagrancy if you just try to hide them away when people are visiting. They need help!! Roseau must have strict constant enforcement of no-vagrancy laws at all time to force people to get the help they need, and thus off the street.

  46. Anonymous
    May 16, 2013

    we don’t want them away only when ships are in port. it would be nice if they stopped harrassing residents as well.

  47. Anonymous
    May 16, 2013

    are most of the homeless mentally ill???

    • Sug
      May 16, 2013

      Yes… well those that harass…

    • I Care
      May 16, 2013

      only a few mentally ill…The majority r Parows…Drug addicts…Thats y the beg the tourist for money….

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