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Homeless shelter opened

Homeless shelter opened

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The Ladies of Charity organization has opened the doors of the Marguerite Shanagher night shelter in Rose Place.

With a mission to help the aged and destitute in our society, on Tuesday, November 4, the group of thirty-five Roman Catholic women officially opened the night shelter much to the delight of the persons present.{{more}}

While giving a brief history of the project, Pamela Bonadie said in the early 1990s members of the group recognized that there was a need for a home to care for elderly persons who lived in inhumane conditions. In 2003 she said, through the Good News project, they learned of an anonymous donor who was willing to help, only if the home was called Marguerite Shanagher night shelter. Sister Marguerite Shanagher while in St Vincent and the Grenadines, helped the association with their work to get the shelter started.

Bonadie, the former president of the association disclosed that the late Vibert de Shong had sold them the property which houses the shelter, and which at one time was the home of the late Elaine de Shong, for $60,000. Bonadie mentioned that her group also has hopes of expanding the shelter to the neighboring property.

She thanked the persons who had helped with the project and said that Sister Marguerite Shanagher, after whom the home was named, had “heart and hands (which) truly cared for the elderly poor in our land”.

For a number of years, other organizations have “either passed on the other side or superficially looked on at the plight of the homeless elderly roaming our streets,” stated Minister of National Mobilisation, Social Development, Youth and Sports Mike Browne.

He further noted that the Ladies of Charity has consciously decided to stop on their journey and “pick up the socially wounded and provide, care, affection and love for them”.

The Minister said that many of our homeless elderly are victims of unfortunate choices they made earlier in their lives. This he stressed, does not mean that they are not human and do not possess certain fundamental and basic needs like other individuals.

He pointed out that the homeless are often marginalized and regarded as “menaces to the growth and development of our nation”.

Browne said that other faith based and governmental organizations should follow in the path of the Ladies of Charity, and individual family units should not forget their “moral and civil responsibility” in providing care for the elderly.

He congratulated the association and pledged his Ministry’s support.

The shelter will provide bed and breakfast services to 20 elderly, homeless persons. (VM)

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