$1 million to assist needy people in St Catherine

Jamaica Information Service – The Ministry of Local Government will be providing $1 million to the Poor Relief Department of the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation to assist needy individuals in the parish.

This was announced by portfolio Minister Desmond McKenzie, who said the needy cases will be identified and addressed at the discretion of the department.

“We are doing this to improve the delivery (of service) to the poor and destitute,” the Minister said.

He was addressing the monthly meeting of the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation at its Parade Square location in Spanish Town, on Thursday (June 14).

During the event, the Minister also handed over new tablet computers, desktop computers and state-of-the-art printers to the Poor Relief Department.

Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie (left) highlights a point while addressing the monthly meeting of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation on June 14. Listening is Mayor of Spanish Town, Councillor Norman Scott.

Mr. McKenzie commended the Poor Relief Officers on the work they have been doing, noting that with the new equipment, they have now been provided with the tools to carry out their duties more efficiently.

“Gone are the days when Poor Relief Officers need to be (sifting through) a book to get information,” he asserted.

The Minister said the Government is committed to enhancing the lives of the nation’s poor and destitute, and pointed out that the Administration is spending money to build indigent housing, improve infirmaries across the country, and build drop-in centres for persons living on the streets.

The Poor Relief Department was established to relieve poverty and destitution among all members of the society. The department provides non-institutional as well as institutional care for adults and children.

In non-institutional care, clients may be on the registered roll as wards of the State, or they may be destitute persons receiving temporary assistance only.

Clients in institutional care are wards of the State and receive total care in infirmaries or golden age homes.

During the meeting, Councillors were also presented with tablet computers.

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