Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez is considering employing homeless people to do tasks around the capital city, in an effort to treat with the problem of street dwelling and assist some homeless people in getting back on their feet.
Martinez, who was speaking during a Joint Select Committee meeting on Human Rights, Equality and Diversity at the Red House in Port of Spain yesterday, said this initiative would be funded through the Mayor’s Fund.
Noting that there is no law by which homeless people can be involuntarily removed from the streets, Martinez said there are still things that can be done to discourage people from living on the streets.
“Sometimes we wait for the law to happen, and we don’t really have to wait for the law to happen if we do things that will encourage people to move in a particular direction and guide them and help them to understand the benefit of it…” Martinez said.
“We sit and wait and wait and wait and we are always trying to fix the law or trying to do something about it paper wise, when we could actually have been on the ground doing something about it.”
‘Give them a chance’
Joel Martinez said with care and support, homeless people can be brought back to some level of respectability.
“You will know the ones who you can maybe give them jobs to pick up plastic on the street, or to sweep our squares or pick up leaves and that sort of thing.
“Give them something meaningful to do in the mean time.
“I was going to do that through the Mayor’s Fund and allow us to be able to employ a couple of them and allow them to do things within the city of a nature that will bring some form of action.
“We can do something about it, we just have to put our heads together…”
Martinez wants to employ PoS homeless Trinidad & Tobago Express Newspapers