President of the Barbados Vagrant and Homeless Society (BVHS) Kemar Saffrey is giving the Mottley administration the thumbs up for ensuring homeless people were off the streets during the passage of Tropical Storm Dorian.
Hours after the Prime Minister announced the all-clear today, Saffrey told Barbados TODAY that 41 people were taken to two shelters in The City.
For the first time in many years, special considerations were made for the individuals who depend on his services and that of other charitable organisations, he said.
Saffrey told Barbados TODAY: “Most of the homeless would have congregated at the Westbury School and St Ambrose Primary.
“We are happy that the provisions were put in place. You would have seen that we would have been in hurricanes and storms that passed, and very ironic, these are things that we [the Society] would have asked the last administration for.
“We would have fight with them to get these guys off the streets when this season is coming.”
Saffrey said he was also pleased that the shelters were opened earlier than usual to accommodate his clients.
Even before the high winds and rainfall started, some were already resting comfortably at the shelters, he said.
“And that is something that I think has to be lauded by the Government and Minister Santia Bradshaw,” said Saffrey. “We did not have to struggle with our clients to get them to the shelter through the rain.
“We were able to successfully transport them to a shelter.
“The shelter wardens were very instrumental in the process, they also gave these guys stuff that they needed and they give them from their own stuff that they had for themselves, and that must be commended.
“This morning we came down early when the all-clear was given and we headed to the two shelters.
“We were able to check to make sure that they were comfortable throughout the night, and that there were no incidents. We are happy to report that there were no incidents and that they abided by the rules.”
Saffrey said he sent his gratitude to Prime Minister Mottley and her team for their timely and effective response to the needs of the homeless.
“We are also hoping that we could do this again when the time arise, but we are aiming for our own shelter to open pretty soon.”