Gov’t to take care of vagrancy in Roseau Tonge says

 Tonge is the Tourism Minister
Tonge is the Tourism Minister

Government has put a plan in place to address the long standing issue of vagrancy in Roseau, Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge, has said.

A day and night care facility will be put in place as part of the plan, he said on ‘Talking Point’ aired on State-own DBS Radio on Thursday.

“A paper was sent to cabinet,” he said. “It basically is going to be a day care and a night care facility.”

He 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.”

“Not the regular centre because what they are going to do is basically just try to take care of them,” he explained. “So they will take care of them, they will wash them, they will bathe them, they will groom them, give them new clothes and they will have them do certain things under the occupational areas so that they are occupied during that time.”

He said hopefully there will be some rehabilitation

“I am sure that would be looked at. At the end of the day they are free to go,” he said.

Tonge noted that the night time facility will be open for those who want to find a place to sleep.

“So there will also be washroom facilities so that the guys are not on the sides of the roads,” he noted.

He said the process will take place every day.

While this is taking place, Tonge revealed that a proper study will be done to come up with a “long-term solution” to deal with the issue.

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 Dominica and a reason given for the island receiving low ratings by visitors, according to reports.

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

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

Earlier this year Darroux said the matter would be taken to cabinet for consideration since it is having a negative impact on, “our visitors especially those from the cruise ships.”

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

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45 Comments

  1. The Real Facts
    July 5, 2015

    When people such as these experience that they are cared for, miracles could happen in that they could become better nationals.
    They need help to get out of the rot that they have found themselves in. Obviously, they cannot do it on their own.

  2. The Real Facts
    July 5, 2015

    Rehabilitation is also an excellent idea. Who knows? Those who receive it and embrace it may one day want their own residence, to be employed. Eventually, they may very well become useful nationals. Consider the overall benefit to D/ca and nationals.
    Dominica/Roseau could once become a more enjoyable place to walk around as nationals go about their daily business. It would also be enjoyable for tourists/visitors.
    You have my blessings. Most of all, you have Our Almighty Father’s blessing and His Blessed Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Recall, as contained in the Holy Bible, the words of Our Lord, toward the poor, helping them.
    God will bless Dominica and all those concerned who will make this initiative a possibility and assist the poor, destitute and those who are drug addicts, some of whom have nowhere to turn to and are crying out (be it inwardly) for help and a better life. God knows this better than I do.
    God’s blessing this endeavor.

  3. Lang Mama
    July 5, 2015

    A paper was sent to cabinet??? I sure hope like many other papers that one was sent via the farmers boat cause the farmers boats will be in Dominica next with the tablets,,the 500 jobs and the international airport. Remember it is always next week the boats are coming

  4. De Same One
    July 5, 2015

    after catty give allu his vote allu want to take all his sales away from him. robbie that is one vote you will lose…hahahaha. boy look mahjee…a tourism minister addressing mental illness and vagrancy…imagine that.

  5. Taking notes
    July 4, 2015

    Sir Tonge I have to applaud you for such an initiative, I just hope that it is followed through and it is not just mere lip service.
    Also, please tell us how is this going to be funded. We await your response.

    • The Real Facts
      July 5, 2015

      Have confidence. If per chance it fails, negative people as you will be the cause of it.
      You need to build confidence.
      Do you have to know how it will be funded?

  6. Anthony P. Ismael
    July 4, 2015

    I love this idea. However, the Grotto Home for the Homeless needs EC$250,000.00 to complete its remaining infrastructure. With all the money floating around on the island, why not invest in this project, so that there will be more housing for vagrants?

    I wonder how much time will be required to implement this idea. The fact that a “Paper” was sent to Cabinet tells me that in 5 years time this will be implemented, given the speedy nature of Cabinet. This is why we need for NGOs to participate in nation building. When every problem becomes a government problem and government solution, we will never move forward. Contract this out to non-profit agency and watch the difference.

    • The Real Facts
      July 5, 2015

      So what is your problem? Everything takes time. It must also be discussed and decided for also costs. Hope this initiative will commence soon.
      Do you not know, even though you feel it should be operated by another organization, the government still has to approve it.

  7. Ayn Rand
    July 4, 2015

    So long tongue in office with his special management style, WHERE DE TOURISTS?

  8. Big Fast Windy
    July 4, 2015

    It’s donkey years now since Batu (Bonti Liverpool) axin’ 4 help to tackle that “problem”…..Greetings Ice… :wink:

  9. Truth be Told
    July 4, 2015

    A Tourism Minister spells out a solution for vagrancy and mental illness! Now do you see the problem with us in Dominica? And how long has this Labour Party Government been in office? But we are told that now, “Tonge revealed that a proper study will be done to come up with a “long-term solution” to deal with the issue”! :oops:

    • Just saying
      July 6, 2015

      Why not the Minister for Heath? I am confused. True tourism is affected but is this the primary issue? smh

  10. Pipirit
    July 3, 2015

    Nice gesture Robbi…Just follow through with those plans..
    Roseau’s vagrancy really needs to addressed and solved.
    MAKE IT HAPPEN SWEETY…Dominica has too many jacko parrots in government. ..Please don’t let them rub off on you…Although it’s almost impossible!!!

  11. The Real Facts
    July 3, 2015

    Excellent idea. This is a start until a permanent solution is decided on. Nothing beats a failure but a trial.
    They may enjoy the good treatment, new clothes, food, etc., to the point that they may not want to return to the streets and may call the day care and night care facility their home.
    I visualize they will definitely need some degree of discipline.
    They could be kept busy as they are monitored through:

    Reading some educational books as biographies and autobiographies; also some interesting fiction books. Nothing of a violent or depressing nature.
    Oh yes! The Holy Bible, The Good Book as well. :) They do need God in their life (a song comes to my mind).
    Recreational activities: indoor and outdoor games, viewing educational TV programs; listening to the radio – programs they could also learn from and are entertaining.
    Everyone needs to laugh, to have a good laugh, to smile. They could view and listen to certain comical TV and Radio programs.

    • The Real Facts
      July 3, 2015

      Some may enjoy doing puzzles. This is an excellent form of exercise for the brains/mind. It will also keep them occupied, set them thinking and also captivated as they try to solve the puzzles. Again, nothing of a violent nature.
      There is a lot they could do to keep occupied. Oh, if there is a patch of land at the facility, they could grow vegetables and herbs and tender them.
      Fellow D/cans, you want a better D/ca, a safe and peaceful one,. Please give this initiative your encouragement and blessing.

    • Tjebe fort
      July 4, 2015

      Facts, as I said before this is a good initiative. However, we must deal with realities too and the fact is that these people are drawn to the street by a compelling urge for money, dry cash to feed their habits and it are mostly the streets of Roseau that provide an opportunity for that.
      I’m afraid just feeding and bathing them, let alone handicrafts or puzzles won’t be enough. We have to find an answer to this issue also. There is no easy answer but not giving it a try is not an option. We must persevere and learn along the way.

      • The Real Facts
        July 5, 2015

        It is a good thing we do not all think alike. If we were, I wonder what would happen to D/ca and with negative comments.
        Do you know the saying, “Nothing beats a failure but a trial” and “If at first you do not succeed try again.”
        Some of you are too negative.
        Whatever the government plans to do with them, it is a good start. Who knows? They may learn and become better nationals, be it a few. Have hope. See what happens before doubting it, downplaying it and criticizing it.

      • The Real Facts
        July 5, 2015

        I expect they will receive relevant counseling.

  12. Francisco Telemaque
    July 3, 2015

    I suppose when Tonge speak of an occupational health center, he probably intends to get involve in occupational therapy by means of activity such as creative activity prescribed for its effect in promoting recovery or rehabilitation. That may work for some who are addicted to drugs, and alcohol, but what abut the person who became a vagrant due to the lack of job opportunity?

    A vagrant can be anyone wandering, itinerantly, roving unemployed, if that person had a job unless they are psychotics it is likely they would have a stationary home, and perhaps a loving family; it is common to see tattered mentally ill persons roving the streets or living in deplorable conditions these people are the vagrants known to be psychotics, and most certainly need psychological, and mental treatment.

    The most common mental disorders associated with vagrancy are schizophrenia; this is a condition associated with disorders of thought, perception, often leading to apathy, lack of drive,…

    • Francisco Telemaque
      July 3, 2015

      The most common mental disorders associated with vagrancy are schizophrenia; this is a condition associated with disorders of thought, perception, often leading to apathy, lack of drive, sluggishness, and withdrawal from society. Schizophrenia has a prevalence of about 1% and is not gender, or racial specific.

      The subtypes of schizophrenia which leads to vagrancy are:

      Hebephrenic schizophrenia which is characterized by early and insidious onset with a continuous course without any significant remissions; disorganized speech, and behaviors, and flat or inappropriate effect with a very poor premorbid personality; and is also referred to as disorganized schizophrenia.

      Catatonic schizophrenia is characterized by prominent motor symptoms i. e. motor immobility: catalepsy or stupor, mannerisms stereotypy, echolalia, echopraxia, or mutism. I can go into more detail, but it will be too long, so I will conclude by stating the hazards posed by vagrants to themselves:…

      • Francisco Telemaque
        July 3, 2015

        I will conclude by stating the hazards posed by vagrants to themselves: malnutrition, poor nutrition is a or problem among the vagrants population. When they are at the mercy of donors, food intake are most of the time erratic, incomplete in the balance of the necessary components.

        Some vagrants tag along for days without eating while some eat out of public waste dumps. Protein energy malnutrition, and various forms of hypovitaminosis lead to anemia, that will ultimately cause the death of the vagrants.

  13. CYRIL Volney
    July 3, 2015

    Why does it take so long to implement necessary initiates in Dominica? Set goals, empower the workers, make them accountable, and follow up with positive or negative reinforcement. Let’s get it done, and sustain this important initiative. The “paros” are a major problem in Roseau, and they are hurting our economy!

    Next on the agenda: (i) Road side parking (both sides (ii) Break your leg sidewalks (iii) garbage disposal (iv) derelict buildings (v) Roseau access user toll gates to pay for it all…..

    • mandate 2 mismanage
      July 3, 2015

      Accountable???? Hahahahaha that word clearly is not translated in Dominica-English or Patois!

      Accountability! If only….

  14. Man kind
    July 3, 2015

    We thought IAN DOUGLAS too care of this problem a long time ago .
    We should not be talking about that .
    Anyways better late than never .
    Labour KA TwVaEy right

  15. Faceup
    July 3, 2015

    Great news GREAT NEWS..This is like international standards..DA are we getting there? hope so, We also need drug councilors preferable councilors who have used drugs/alcohol and been clean for more than ten years..

  16. Titiwi
    July 3, 2015

    This is a good initiative and I hope it works but please, not only on cruise ship days. It has to be on a 24/7 basis if we are to advance our tourism industry properly and help these less fortunate citizens at the same time.

  17. Just Me
    July 3, 2015

    How many times have we heard this before?

    • mandate 2 mismanage
      July 3, 2015

      OK…I thought it was just me. I thought this was the EXACT same story reported a few months ago and DNO accidentally reposted.

      So sad…the smallest of issues we can’t wrap our heads around. But we pulled off a $27M State House? I guess if we want a problem solved these days, we call in the Chinese?

      • ???????????
        July 4, 2015

        Mandate to manage are you all just criticizerrs always complaining persons with a degree in such disciplines – negativity and the likes. Here lies a problem and at least someone is trying to get a solution though it may not be the best. You bang your head left, right and centre and make some suggestions as well. Banging the head might take of some of the n

      • ???????????
        July 4, 2015

        Negativity in your head because that is all you have there. Come on time to work together and stop complaining. I challenge you to make suggestions since you do not agree with what is to be done. Counter attack.

  18. IluvmyPm
    July 3, 2015

    De Govt cannot take care of the potholes that hurting
    your father lower back everytime he go in de garage
    is vagrancy they can take care of, I bet is a house u all
    going to throw dem in, so what will u do when de vagrants
    start increasing, tonge sa la garçon :lol:

    • anonymous2
      July 3, 2015

      Who is going to be rounding them up? The police? Now that should be real interesting.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      July 3, 2015

      It is nothing more than a bit of pie in the sky talk, all of them are simply running off their mouth. Apart from some of these people who suffer from genetically, hereditary mental the majority got their life screwed up from illicit drugs, and alcohol.

      That condition of the rest was forced on them by the government. People need to work in order to live a prosperous , and productive life! Dominica is the only place on earth where people are born, lived an entire life time, without ever holding a job!

      Frustration sets in, and psychological depression takes over the life of the individual.

      Give me a fish, I will eat for one day, teach me to fish, I will fish forever! Once one becomes addicted to alcohol life is all but over. During the election this so called doctor Darroux would take his bottles of cheap white rum and set it down under a tree in a shade, the rum muffers of the village would smell the rum and go and drink it. This is what the government of the country does to…

      • ???????????
        July 4, 2015

        So Francisco you just turn from making some meaningful contribution to one of political agenda. You doing a lot of talking as well. Since you seem to be well versed in all things, time for some action fron you. Put your money where your mouth is. A small pilot program to deal with vagrancy….. start in your village first. Let me see your action plan which we will adopt in other areas. Trop parler… action time now.

      • July 5, 2015

        @??????????? July 4, 2015

        First of all you know me–well not directly–but you and I are in harmony, here in DNO, for as long as I have been here–you have come in my defense several times.

        Now it is my turn to commend your post. I agree with you, that there are too many people with the thought of “futility” spewing the stench of their mouth against our country and her Government–especially those who are leaving outside of the Nation, with no intentions of returning to their homeland.

        Unfortunately their intention, to live outside of Dominica, is often based on the fact, that they cannot leave their now, foreign land–for many bad reasons. Hence they are simply using our present situations as an excuse, for staying away–an excuse which is extremely futile.

  19. A Doubting Thomas
    July 3, 2015

    To our Friendly government, you gave us $32 million for election campaign and now you cant provide us with money to take care of the real needy, our roads,piblic works, primised tablets,NEP salaries.

    • anonymous2
      July 3, 2015

      They can’t provide you with anything because the bankers took over all of the revenues at the end of May due to the debt which was not being repaid in a manner that they liked. When you borrow money, you are owned. . People should go sit in on Parliament or at least watch whatever videos get put online. Then their wondering would stop.

    • Titiwi
      July 3, 2015

      Thomas, who said it was a friendly govt. that financed the election campaign for the labour party? In my opinion it is far more likely it would have been and advance from an interested party against the sale of citizenships. E.C.32 million is just one passport short of U.S. 12 million, not such a large sum in the scheme of things. It would have been in their interest to ensure a victory for the sitting govt. i.e. Roosevelt Skerrit. You think that is a possible scenario?

      • Francisco Telemaque
        July 4, 2015

        Have you ever wondered why they are unable to pay to Petro Carib the millions of dollars owed?

        The thirty millions belong to Petro Carib, in addition to the millions that paid for three other million dollar homes, an I hear a yacht also!

        You know that thing called luxury boat.

    • July 5, 2015

      Are you the real “Doubting Thomas”? That comment above does not seem like yours. Unless you have changed overnight.

  20. Informed
    July 3, 2015

    DNO thought you might have meant the Psychiatric Unit. The minister said “pick” them up suggesting that you drive around and collect them. Wow! I’m afraid do we know the data on vagrants in the city? Have we given that thought; If he refuses to move, is that going to be supported by legislation? I suppose the resources will be made available to support that initiative. Just asking.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      July 4, 2015

      Anyway, you have made a valid contribution. You see in a democracy, no government, or family of the mentality ill or any other medical issues can force that person to accept medical attention, neither can the government force vagrants off the streets, especially if the vagrant is not causing problems to anyone.

      If the government had the power to do that there would be no vagrants in the Streets of Los Angeles, or the streets in any major city of the world excepts communist China!

      I saw a woman completely naked on Vernon and the junction of Crenshaw one of the busiest street in Los Angeles, men were taking photographs of the naked woman in her late thirties. The police simply stood there and did not touch her.

      She went and bath in the under the fountain in Lemert Park, those of us who remember the Television series Moesha, the Fontaine in the background is the one of the same. I do not know how they got that lady off the streets; no doubt she is crazy!

  21. Peter Potter
    July 3, 2015

    Sir, you’ll take care of it! Do you know how many times and for how long we have heard that? Guess what, nothing has been done, in fact the problem is getting more and more out of hand.

  22. coyote
    July 3, 2015

    more talk blah blah blah.Take some action ,nuff talk and while you at it clean up the city ,re-do the roads and cover those nasty looking dangerous drains.SMH.

  23. alas
    July 3, 2015

    this story is very vague….
    I’ve read a similar story to that about a month ago.
    The same minister was saying the same thing……we are looking at it.
    this story is no different.
    you still looking at it wit nothing concrete to report on.
    where is that facility you speak of.
    who will/is managing de facility/center?
    is this a government effort solely?
    how soon is this expected to be put into effect?
    will it be operating for independence celebrations?
    what you really trying to say…….you saying nothing at all.
    Occupational health center…..what is that? is this a first for Dominica?
    where is it located? is it a new facility/constuction?

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