Gov’t to provide day care center for vagrants in Roseau

Charles has revealed a plan for addressing the vagrant problem in Roseau
Charles has revealed a plan for addressing the vagrant problem in Roseau. File photo

In order to address the vexing problem of vagrants in Roseau, the government has approved a sum of money for a program that will include providing a day care center them.

Speaking at the 12th inauguration of the Roseau City Council on Wednesday, Youth Affairs Minister, Justina Charles, said the government has approved $102,500 to address the vagrancy situation in the capital city in the initial stages. She represented Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, at the function.

“And this program includes providing a day care center, or if you want to call it a day hospital, for vagrants around Roseau,” she stated.

She said the program is going to be voluntary and those who accept and are willing to be part of it will be assessed. 

“And we are hoping that during the time that they will be there in that program that there will be a total, thorough assessment of the individuals to look at their physical, social and psychological wellbeing and a management plan will be developed in order to meet their specific identified needs,” Charles revealed.

She said the facility will provide a variety of activities to improve both occupational and vocational skills of those in the program.

“Very often we look at the vagrants but some of them are very skilled and talented and all we need to do is to explore it, if they find the right environment,” Charles remarked. “And so there will be a social worker, there will be a counselor attached to the program who will assist in identifying some of those areas.”

The issue of vagrants in Roseau has been a long standing one in Dominica.

They are said to be a nuisance to tourists who come to the island and locals alike.

In November 2013, then Tourism Minister, Ian Douglas, admitted that he was unsure how the matter is going to be resolved.

He threw the problem at the feet of the Ministry of Health, which he said is ultimately responsible for dealing with it.

In May 2015, Health Minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux said the matter has been handed to the Ministry of Health and a cabinet paper has been finalized.

“This issue of the vagrancy has been going back and forth for the longest while and finally it was handed to the capable Ministry of Health,” he said back then. He also pointed out that the accommodations for vagrants will be handled by the non-profit organization, Wisdom To Know (WTK), with a small cost attached.

In July 2015, Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge said government has put a plan in place to address the problem and it includes day and night care facility. He also said as part of the plan, the Psychology Unit will pick up high risk persons every day and take them to what he described as an “occupational health centre.”

In 2014, Director of Tourism, Colin Piper, described the matter as having a “negative impediment” on the tourism industry.

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32 Comments

  1. Dorothy LaManche (nee Potier)
    December 8, 2016

    I am sorry, but the microphone is far too close to the lady’s pursed lips.

    My young son raised this point with me after seeing the photo. He is at an impressionable age as he is approaching puberty and sadly, these kind of images will only seek to inflame his already volatile sexual development. I have enough on my hands (as it were) and can do without this kind of problem.

    DNO, please use moderation when displaying such photos.

  2. pwell
    November 25, 2016

    Panhandling (Begging )in the city of roseau should be a crime thats the only way you going to get these fagrants of the street.We know them well and we know they’re not gonna go willingly.

  3. The Truth Be Told
    November 25, 2016

    Excellent initiative. Nothing beats a failure but a trial. You never know. They may enjoy the atmosphere so much that they will want to remain there. I really hope so.
    This is one way of helping the poor, giving them a decent place to stay, feeding and clothing them.
    Some of you who are critics, if you can afford you could assist the government., It will be assisting the vagrants you complained a lot about. You will be:
    Feeding the poor, sheltering the homeless, giving drink to the thirsty and food to the hungry. They are all Corporal Works of Mercy. God will bless you for that.
    I do believe people who are negative, who consistently criticize, are the ones who do absolutely nothing for the good of the country.
    We must keep fruitfully busy. If we do, we will have no time for petty things, petty words, to insult others, always be critical and discouraging. This is not what life is all about. Those who do must rise above that. Christians should know that.

  4. Dan is De Man in de Van
    November 24, 2016

    A day care center, after which they will be picked up by thier parents….. you all in this present government are jokes and I have already said it. These people do not need any day care center what they need is proper rehabilitation. A secure place with proper medical facilities and professionals who can take care of them… why aren’t you all ashamed of portraying the less fortunate leaving in squalor to the world, because you all have no pride …. I always say it’s a damn good thing there is no 4 seasons in Dominica cause in the winter all the vagrants would perish and die. Build a proper Institution to house these people and stop you all peddle backing…… for the love of god and man do something good or don’t do it at all. What are they suppose to do with this day care center, stay in their and play like toddlers and then at nights roam the streets and do mischief? Or is this a strategy to lock them up when a tourist ship is in port.. answer my question….

    • Truth Be Told
      November 25, 2016

      I think this is what the Minister meant, if you fully read the article and comprehend it She also said it is voluntary. They will not force anyone against their will. Give them a compliment for trying. It will be beneficial for the vagrants.
      I visualize it will not be easy to try to assist them “indoors” in any way. They are too accustomed to the streets, on their own, feeling free and walking all around. Nevertheless, the government must try to help them and also keep them from harm.
      When some are cleaned and dressed they will not look like vagrants. Have them take a bath, give them clean, decent clothing and shoes, comb their hair and they will look as anyone of us, if you know what I mean. May this initiative be successful.

  5. November 24, 2016

    All I know is last week when the cruise ships in were in town I could walk from one end of Roseau to the other without one being begged for money. It was almost eerie — that’s never happened to me in fifteen years of being in Dominica. Whatever they’re doing I hope they keep it up, it’s a lot better from a tourism perspective.

  6. hmmmmmm
    November 24, 2016

    Soooooo…. in the night now??????

    • Truth Be Told
      November 25, 2016

      Figure it out. If they want to remain indoors they will be welcomed. These people could be restless day and night. If they probably stay indoors all day, they may not want to stay indoors all night unless there is something attractive for them to do as also viewing TV and being on the internet. They will be like little children. I visualize they have to be kept very busy to keep them quiet.

  7. Finbar
    November 24, 2016

    It’s not a ‘vexing problem’, ‘a nuisance’, or an ‘impediment’, it’s a social issue that has now come to symbolise the scandalous neglect of and inhumane attitude towards our fellow man; a social issue that has never been addressed at its source. Considering this is a Christian country it is hypocritical that most take the attitude that street people should simply be shifted out of sight, and therefore out of mind. They need proper help, not simply a day shelter.

    • Truth Be Told
      November 25, 2016

      It could have commenced from childhood; also as some grew older. Parents will have to be interviewed and also the schools they attended, be it the elementary, if they did.

  8. A vagrant is a person who has no established residence, and wanders idly from one place to another, without a nay lawful or visible means of support. Vagrants are not born, life stressors, cause vagrancy, as some people circumstances cause them to become mentally ill and disabled.

    Some become vagrant due too much indulgence in alcoholic, most of of them should be in a mental institution where they get treated for the mental and psychological issues; those diagnosed as alcoholics should also be treated for the problem even if is simply counseling.

    So when I read where some so called minister of government talking about a day care center for vagrants, we know that is a bunch decaying baloney. When we speak of a day care canter we are implying a place which could serve to purpose, either to serve children, and adults taken there in the morning where the yare fed, and looked after; picked up in the afternoon and carried to their place of residence.

    I Justina Charles Musgrave,…

    • Continue:

      Is Justina Charles Musgrave, going to cover all of Roseau in the morning, pick up all the mentally ill people, and those inebriated take them to her canter feed, and bath them provide them with clean cloth, over an eight hour period, and then at the end of the day let them loose with no place to sleep, and repeat the cycle each day!

      You see how simple it to see how ignorant Dominica government of ministers are? It is all about talking fart. What about the guy from Grand Bay who need twenty-four thousand dollars to save his life, what have you done about that Justina?

    • “peak of a day care canter we are implying a place which could serve to purpose, either to serve children, and adults taken there in the morning where the yare fed,”

      Let that read: ‘Speak of a day care center, we are implying a place which could serve two purpose, either to serve children and adults taken there in the morning where they are fed.’

      And while I am at it, a day care center is supposed to be a place where working parents pay to have their young children looked after while they are at work.

      There are also day care centers for adults who are unable to look after themselves, some are demented, some bight not be ambulate to help themselves so their children working, and can’t be at home with them, carries then to such a center, pay for the services.

      What Justina is preaching is nothing more than another of Skerrit gimmicks!

  9. TellingtheTruth
    November 24, 2016

    I really hope there will be qualified and experienced staff who have worked with this client group before.
    I hope the approach will be non judgemental and professional.
    I hope that the day center is staffed by staff who are not sycophants of the DLP.
    I guess I can only dream to the above.
    By the way, the sum of money given for this project is abysmal.

    • Facts, you change your name again to telling the truth.

      Since the Leaper cannot change it color, so too you cannot hide your identity; their are traces in your writing I used to identify you!

      You are a rattler snake!

  10. Bumbble Lee
    November 24, 2016

    Well, I’m going to become a vagrant. Hot meals are provided too? I’m in. I’m tired of looking for work in Dominica – Vagrancy is my next option. SIGN ME IN, Oh…

  11. Blessed
    November 24, 2016

    A day care facility…what happens to them at nights? Dominica would do great with a rehab facility that can at least take them off the streets permanently. I hope this is an interim solution and that plans for a rehab facility is somewhere lurking.

  12. Floridian Diaspora
    November 24, 2016

    These vagrants are just a reflection of what Roseau is; nasty, smelling, and filled with garbage. Couldn’t help but notice the tourist that was walking around town taking note of all the garbage by the roadside. Good luck on what they’ll be telling their people about our capital when they get back to their homeland. The next move should be to evict the P.M. from his position because he doesn’t deserve it. Make him a vagrant of the prime minister’s house

    • It's MissAlie
      November 24, 2016

      Sad, you are more interested in tourist’s feedback rather than the well-being of human beings. Another human with backward priorities; the poor and hungry man and woman have no effect on you because your concern is making sure other people and their wants are satisfied.

    • eyes wide shut
      November 24, 2016

      i strongly insist you come down to take care of your brother, sister, friend or fellow Dominican instead of breaking the mirror in your house. Roseau didn’t become nasty, smelling and all the other insult you trow at her on her own. we all play our part in making her so. then are we taking the blame? if we spend some energy praising and raising our town,village or and city like we do Donald trump own. we would not be using all these colorful words to talk about ours. its fi all ah wi.

    • November 24, 2016

      As if you’re been in Dominica any time recently to have an informed opinion. Roseau has had its problems, but it’s not presently filled with rubbish.

  13. It's MissAlie
    November 24, 2016

    This is a great idea. These men and women are not only poor, but some are mentally Ill It is the Government’s responsibility to care for its citizens. Ask the public to volunteer; perhaps those young, lost souls with no job and plenty of time to drink and smoke, and cause trouble.

    As a little island girl, I remember the times when the villagers fed people in distress situations. Nowadays, Dominicans are so mean-spirited and self-righteous. It’s like they’ve adapted to European standards of individualism. Our African and Indian ways of sharing, preservation, and spirituality have diminished and all that’s left is defunctness. When I visit Dominica, I still yearn to see people engaging in community, but what I witness is anger and jealousy, and lots of gossiping. Nevertheless, I’m happy that my upbringing included many lessons in altruism because that has helped me to become well-rounded and compassionate.

  14. hmmm
    November 24, 2016

    It should not be voluntary, vagrants are a public nuisance and eyesore in Roseau. You’re giving them the option to continue being a nuisance if they want to.

  15. analy thomas
    November 24, 2016

    I support this program.

  16. Mumbo Jumbo
    November 24, 2016

    Yep, I remember the same mumbo jumbo fake news concerning the infamous Grotto where vagrants slept next to dead bodies.

  17. NKRUMAH KWAME
    November 24, 2016

    ” Very often we look at the vagrants but some of them are very skilled and talented and all we need to do is to explore it, if they find the right environment”.
    What does this statement really mean??? This honourable lady has a serious difficulty with the English language. Please get someone to help you with this disease called “linguistic insufficiency”.
    Non-the-less, this is indeed a good move.
    HOTEP!

  18. Dominican
    November 24, 2016

    The Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Health and finally they offloaded it onto the hapless shoulders of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs but God only knows what that Ministry has to do with vagrants except that Justina Charles is in no position to say no. This should be the responsibility of Social Services, working in conjunction with the Dpt. of health and Roseau City Council and not a temporary fix while the toruist season is well on its way.
    If we can pay first class air travel for the P.M. and his wife this issue should not present a problem for our finances. Mr Skerrit has said that to be a good leader you must love your people first. Show it!

    • Blessed
      November 24, 2016

      She represented the Prime Minister at the Roseau City Council, 12th inauguration. She never said it was going to be taken care off by her Ministry.

      • Me
        November 24, 2016

        Where was the Prime Minister, out of the country again?

  19. November 24, 2016

    Congratulations! finally, better late than Never, with the mombo Jumbo, and the attempt to always play with words. Call it Day Care”. Night Care! or all Hours Care,? Just Do it! we know money is always the bottom line neverthless, we want it Now. Dominica we care for all our unfortunate Brothers and sisters. LA BA KA Twyvie. Happy Thanks Giving To the Human Race.

    • Optimist
      November 24, 2016

      look deeper Brp.. Fed up of reactive treatment.. It just away of dealing with the social mess that they are culpable of. Hope the scheme not just going to support the vagrant nocturnal tendencies. put them away in the day to allow the tourist to enjoy the island and let them out in the night to harass the locals… I would like to see a comprehensive rehabilitation program not no piecemeal strategy.. 100 grand is just for a little cell? or for meals for the duration of the cruise season??

  20. derp
    November 24, 2016

    much talk about nothing

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