In 2016 the founder of Transformed Life Ministry testified before a joint select committee about the work he was trying to accomplish, read what he said here:
A pleasant good day to each and every one. I have over 25 years working with the socially displaced on the streets, picking them up from the streets, bringing them by me, bathing them, cleaning them. Some of them was real wounded with maggots and worms and different things like that, rejected by the hospital at times. So I have a great experience working with them as time goes along. I just worked with about 200 people under the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services and my experience was not too nice. I had some stumbling blocks with the Ministry, of displacement, but I have conquered and made sure that the project was very successful, where they take them to the Piparo Centre, up there, and to my surprise nearly everybody was on the streets at this time.
It is very hurtful and therefore I know a greater effort needs to be done, I know one Ministry could do it. I do what you call the assessment, take them in by me, assess them with every sickness, every disease, make sure they get medication for them, make sure they come back to their status, the majority of them are suffering with mental illness.
So I know many more people need to be on the board. You need the health officers, you need different laws to pass that; you have the right to pick up these people from the streets because the street is in a mess. I am glad for this meeting today because I have a great input to give. I will stop here, at this present time. Thank you very much.
If I am dealing that you are dealing at present with a street dweller, a person that live on the street, rock-bottom, a fella that is wounded and is bruised, man or woman, it will be very costly because—I will get to the cost just now—you have to take up this person from the street, you have to be able to make sure that they eat a proper meal, give them somewhere proper to sleep, then you have to have transport to make sure that you take them to assess them for every sickness—TB, AIDs, whatsoever sickness—then you have to make sure to get the medication.
Sometimes the hospital does not have the medication, they give you a prescription.
It is a very large work. It is very deep stuff.
When you go for a fella on the street sometimes, poor fella, his belly—we are talking about rock-bottom and you have as host of them. The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, through their IAU, bring in about 200 of them.
We are talking about rock-bottom people. It was very costly because you have to have doctors, you have to have mental psychiatrist doctors, you have to have
caregivers, you have to have security because they are not taking their medication for a very long while and they come in in a real state.
So you have to have a staff to work in the ministry, you have to have a staff to work out of the ministry. Sometimes when you take up somebody out of the street, you have to be able to clean the spot where they are, you have to sanitize it. So it is a very extensive to work with somebody rock-bottom. We are hearing working and everybody have their different groups here who might take people straight from the prison, but we are dealing with this which is something that is haunting our country right now. Women are running from them when they see them mad, they coming to beg for a dollar. A woman fell down just the other day and broke her foot. A street dweller raped a woman in St. James. So it is something haunting our country and it needs immediate attention.
And that is the least. Just now. Because I work with a staff in
Transformed Life Ministry and I was forced to use the same staff but I am more
experience now to use the same staff on the outside. And when you take these people
on the outside and they get a little strength, maybe, and they will pick up people’s
bags and run with them; you have to have people to go and get back the people’s
bags for them. They are not right in their head and you are dealing with people that
are mental, you have a double problem, they are also addicts. So you have that
person, you have to be able—taking up people from the streets they have to be
properly assessed. When you are talking assess, it deals with different treatments,
different wounds, their dentals. You deal with their eyes, you are dealing with the
Well, I pray Almighty God that this Committee here will really
serve and support the NGOs, that they will be able to do their work with clarity and