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Mediation centre, gym for homeless

Thursday, December 26, 2013
Minister of the People and Social Development, Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, shares breakfast to residents of the Centre for Socially Displaced Persons, from left, Keba Wong Brown, Ameera Ali and Denise Turton, during a Christmas Day function at Riverside Plaza, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO

If all goes according to plan, by next year street dwellers would have a gym where they can go and work out and a place where they can sit and peacefully meditate, Minister of the People and Social Development Dr Glen Ramadharsingh said yesterday morning. Ramadharsingh made the disclosure at the Centre for Socially Displaced Persons at Riverside Plaza, Port-of-Spain, where he and several other organisations spent the better part of Christmas Day with street dwellers. 



More than 100 homeless people residing at transitional homes throughout the country, including Transformed Life Ministries and the Piparo Empowerment Centre, were treated to Christmas lunch and entertainment from calypsonian Edwin Ayoung, better known as Crazy, and pannist Professor Ken “Professor” Philmore. He said he planned to visit the Police Youth Club in Beetham Gardens, Laventille and some residents in his constituency of Caroni Central before heading home.


“It has come to this. I embrace it,” he said, referring to how he spent Christmas Day. Ramadharsingh said Cabinet approved $10 million about one month ago for the upgrade of the Port-of-Spain centre which will include a gym, meditation and counselling centres, recreational facilities and lockers.


“The design was done pro bono by former government minister John Humphrey and we are already in talks with the National Insurance Property Development Co Ltd and the National Security Ministry on how to approach the work which is expected to begin next year.”
Ramadharsingh said his ministry was also negotiating to purchase a facility to house an extra 200 street dwellers.


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