Monday, Feb 24, 2020
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Many shelter residents to be moved to Poinciana Inn

Hurricane Dorian evacuees inside the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium. FILE

Some Hurricane Dorian evacuees who were staying in shelters on New Providence will be temporarily relocated to Poinciana Inn on Bernard Road in a bid “to further reduce the number of persons residing in the two remaining shelters located at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium and The Bahamas Academy Auditorium”, the Ministry of Social Services announced yesterday.

In a release, the ministry said it entered into an agreement with the inn for 50 rooms over a 90-day period.

“The Agreement for the transitional accommodation is for 90 days, and will allow for the use of 50 rooms at the Poinciana Inn as part of the ministry’s continued efforts to relocate and or/provide transitional housing for persons displaced by Hurricane Dorian,” the release read.

“Families will receive first consideration in order to provide them with the requisite privacy. It is anticipated that the final transition to their respective islands and/or other housing will be completed within the 90-day period.”

According to the release, “due diligence was completed by technical teams from the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, the Department of Social Services and the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, in addition to a number of other government ministries, prior to entering into the agreement with the Poinciana Inn”.

“Efforts to reduce the number of persons housed in those shelters in a humane manner, in what became the greatest humanitarian relief and aid effort in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, have resulted in a reduction in the number of persons housed to less than the 400 persons that currently reside in the Kendal G.L. Isaacs Gymnasium and The Bahamas Academy Auditorium,” it stated. 

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, there were 10 government-approved shelters on New Providence, however, these were consolidated into just two, as the number of residents continued to dwindle, according to the Ministry of Social Services.

At the beginning of the year, Minister of Social Services Frankie Campbell told reporters he is “not aware of a deadline” for the shelters closing.

He said that the ministry is “obliged to provide those shelters” as long as there are people that need them.

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