Categorized | National News

Shelter Remains Open For Jubilee Residents

“Inaccuracy” is what Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin is calling rumors about Jubilee Gardens residents concerning shelter conditions following a massive fire at the New Providence dump that spewed thick smoke over the area for more than a week.

The first rumor Mrs. Griffin said she wished to address was the notion that persons were not placed in motels.

“From the very beginning persons have been put and are still in hotels, in fact their time has been extended,” she said.

“The other is that the command center has been closed. That is not so, it has never closed. We didn’t do the 24-hour coverage because the demand did not require that anymore but the command Centre at the gym has been open continually.”

Mrs. Griffin says the shelter remains open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm where a one stop shop has been established.

Given that the all clear has still yet to be given, the motel shelters and other accommodations have been extended she added.

“I can also say that we have provided food assistance for some 310 persons,” she said.

“As well as we have 41families amounting to 152 persons who are still in temporary or emergency accommodations in motels that totals about nine properties.”

Hours after residents of the Jubilee Gardens community were told to evacuate the area last Sunday, the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium was activated as a shelter.

When persons arrived, officials say they are given a cot, blanket and provided food and entertainment during their stay.

The government has received major backlash with Leader of Opposition Business Loretta Butler-Turner referring to the accommodations as play pens in the House of Assembly last week.

“They had to evacuate because of the fire,” she said.

“And what the government offers them? The government put them in play pen down to the gym. That’s what they look like to me. No privacy. Why aren’t there hotel rooms or some type of apartments being made available to Bahamians? ”

At that time, Mrs. Griffin had said the measures taken were nothing new and is the same that have been done previously during hurricanes.

“The same programs that are in place now as were when the member was in ministry. Same procedures nothing changed. During times of crisis shelters are there and people are to understand that the shelter is not their homes, it is not a hotel, it is provided to make sure they have a roof over their head,” she said.

“It might sound funny to say it is a playpen but it was an effort to provide just a little privacy for the families that were in there.”


Written by Jones Bahamas

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