Homeless shelter plans

Miss Sugar 2018 Seini Vukivuki shares a moment with senior citizens Krishna Kumari (left) with Sashi Lata at the Senior Citizens Week celebrations at Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka on Monday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

GOVERNMENT has plans to establish a shelter for homeless people who have mental or physical disabilities in Lautoka.

Speaking at the launch of Senior Citizens Week at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel on Monday, West divisional welfare officer Samuela Waqairamasi said the issue was being discussed because of an increasing number of homeless people being sheltered at the Golden Age Home.

“Golden Age Home is only for senior citizens but if you go there, you will see young people,” he said.

“These are people from the streets who have been neglected and abandoned by their own families.

“One of the challenges we are facing is trying to convince family members to take them back. And the sad thing is most of the families, when we approach them, they don’t want these people back, they don’t want to look after them.

“And we have to convince the director of Social Welfare because we have a policy at the aged care homes because they are for senior citizens.

“Because of the critical situation the street people are in, we have no choice but to place them in the Golden Age Home.”

Mr Waqairamasi added that NGOs and other organisations have expressed interest in building a shelter for rehabilitating the homeless.

“People have approached us but we need land to build facilities, if we are able to find land then these organisations will build a facility for the street people.”

More Stories