Castries Mayor, Peterson Francis, has said that the presence of vagrants in Castries is a major concern for the Castries Constituency Council (CCC).
He praised the Rotary Club for seeking to ‘bring an element of relief in that area’ and disclosed that the CCC is working on a project with that organisation, to secure a place where the vagrants can be cleaned up, fed, clothed and given medical attention.
According to Francis, efforts will also be made to rehabilitate some of the vagrants and find them employment.
But he declared that more vagrants will come to the City.
“For the simple reason that the vagrants now are now being overfed. Before they had a problem with food, where you would have seen them in certain areas looking for food. But now they are food vendors – they are selling food, because they have too much food,” Francis stated.
He explained that as a result of the efforts of organisations and individuals, throughout the week the vagrants are being fed ‘properly’.
“So we have people now, as far as they are concerned, they join the ranks.”
Francis said Cornerstone House now has to be given more support to get most of the vagrants off the street.
“We are not saying you can’t come down to town. If you are at Cornerstone, of course you can come down to town. But there is a time to go back and that is where you have to sleep. So we will enforce that,” the Mayor stated.
He lamented that people seem to think that everything has to be done by the government.
However Francis asserted that the vagrants have family members who do not look after them.
“There are people who could house their families but they are not doing that,” he remarked.
“We have to come together to solve the problems of Saint Lucia.”