Inaugural Desmond McKenzie Wellness Day of Care for Kingston's Homeless Attracts Hundreds
Hundreds of Kingston and St. Andrew's most vulnerable citizens turned out on Saturday (April 23) to make use of first class health care advice on good nutritional practices, psychological testing and advice, as well as welfare and financial counseling and stirring entertainment.
From the moment His Worship the Mayor of Kingston, Senator Delroy Williams, CD opened the event, the homeless -including many elderly persons- eagerly participated in the numerous services being provided which included administering COVID-19 vaccinations, applications for birth certificates, applications for senior citizens’ identification cards, counseling on violence prevention and drug abuse among others.
"This is the first event of its kind in the history of Kingston, we understand that many of these vulnerable persons have been good productive citizens in their prime but have fallen victim to unfortunate circumstances. We are doing our part to transition them back into normalcy and the wellness day forms part of a number of initiatives including the jewel in the crown which will be our Adult Transitional Facility to be opened soon,” Mayor Williams observed.
The first Wellness Day of Care for the Homeless held at the St. William Grant Park under the theme, “Empowering our Most Vulnerable - Protecting the Homeless”, saw doctors, dentists, psychologists, nurses and other professionals conducting tests for communicable and non-communicable illnesses. Tests offered included Diabetes, Syphilis and HIV screening.
The “Day of Care” is named in recognition of Minister McKenzie's concern for the homeless population and his championing of initiatives to provide support services such as a daily feeding programme and continues the trend of providing vital care to this often neglected section of Kingston's populace.
The goal of the intervention was to provide needed care and attention to the vulnerable homeless population of Kingston and St. Andrew.
Included among the stakeholders were the Registrar General’s Department, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the National Council for Senior Citizens, KSA Public Health Department and the National Council for Drug Abuse, among others.
Giveaways to the homeless were provided by corporate entities.
"These services will provide a vital boost to the homeless in our City as we emerge from Covid-19 and build back stronger" Mayor Williams notes.