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By Jeanna Pearson As levels of homelessness continue to swell, Night Shelter administrator, Sheila Veerasammy, says that the majority of the population remains on the street by choice.She said many homeless persons are of the opinion that they have more freedom on the streets as opposed to living in a home or a shelter.“They remain there because a shelter has rules. When they are living under a roof they have responsibilities. But when they are on the streets they don’t pay water rate, light bills and rent; all they do is beg and eat. So in their minds they are free,” she said.She said that the Night Shelter has a large mobile homeless population which “comes and goes” every day. “Some of them come in and then we never see them again, or some come and we see them two to three weeks later,” she explained.Guyana should treat the issue of homelessness with utmost importance since most of these persons are afflicted by some type of psychological illness.According to the New Nation May 2014 edition, many homeless persons were suffering from some form of mental illness, ranging from clinical depression,Cheap Jerseys, schizophrenia to bipolar disorders.Many of these individuals can be seen wandering the streets,Wholesale Jerseys From China, rummaging through garbage bins for food or sleeping on pieces of cardboards outside of businesses. They have little or no idea of time or what is occurring around them.Veerasammy said that it is imperative for the homeless population to be re-integrated into society. She said that much evaluation must be done along with vigorous counselling sessions for this change to occur.“We need to get them to understand that there is an alternative to sleeping on the streets…to condition their minds to understand that here, there is a warm bed and hot food,” she posited.It is estimated that some 500 persons were living on the streets of Georgetown, Veerasammy said, noting that part of the population included children and young adults. However, she said many of them are afraid of staying in a shelter.“…When you come here you have to take a bath, you have to brush your teeth and wash your clothes….street people are not accustomed to that”.Conversely, she said that the Night Shelter has not given up hope on these people. It tries its best to have individual counselling with these homeless people whenever they visit the shelter. She also stated that the shelter is lobbying for more programmes to be integrated in the curriculum for 2016.“These people are the vulnerable sector of society,Wholesale China Jerseys, they need our help and we must help them in whatever way possible. So we want to start offering therapy and life skills training for them in the next year,” she added.She appealed to the public, the government and all non-government organizations to join the shelter in getting these people re-integrated into society. She also indicated that some homeless persons want to change their lives but do not know how.“Not all of them are there because they choose to, some of them are there because of bad choices or because of life circumstances,cheap nfl jerseys,” she noted.Currently, the Social Protection Ministry is collaborating with a welfare committee to tackle the issue. The committee, which is a spin-off from a Mayor and City Council Programme, is being chaired by Major General (Ret’d) Joseph Singh.Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence,Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic, told Kaieteur News that the sub-committee has completed their preliminary investigations and was moving ahead in 2016 to have the homeless removed from the streets.She said the committee includes persons from the Ministry of Public Health, the Mayor and City Council and the Ministry of Legal Affairs. She stated that a part of the programme will incorporate medical evaluation by the Public Health Ministry to determine if the individual was battling with a social issue or if they have a psychological illness.Once the evaluation is performed,Cheap Wholesale Jerseys, Lawrence explained, the committee will decide on whether to place the person in a shelter or in a mental institution. However, she stated that the Night Shelter in its present condition does not have the accommodation for a lot of homeless people. She said so far, some homeless persons were removed from the shelter and taken to the rehabilitation centre in West Coast Berbice.“We have done some restoration on the shelter but it can only hold so much,” she said, adding that the committee is looking forward to tackling the issue of homelessness and removing them from the streets—regardless if they are there by choice or because of some medical impairment.
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