Over 90% of rough sleepers shifted to care homes

Rough sleepers rehabilitated by the district administration at a hostel in Kozhikode on Thursday.

Rough sleepers rehabilitated by the district administration at a hostel in Kozhikode on Thursday.  

The district administration’s project to give temporary shelter with food and emergency medical support for the city’s rough sleepers during the lockdown period is nearing completion. Around 500 persons who were roaming around the streets have so far benefited from the drive.

All arrangements have been put in place using buildings of Government Physical Education College and three other hostels at East Hill to care for the elderly and those suffering from various ailments. Volunteers and charity organisations appointed by the district administration will bear the daily expenses for caring the destitute.

Officials with the Social Justice Department who coordinate the drive said more than 90% of the total wanderers in Kozhikode city had been relocated to temporary facilities. Health officials screened all of them before their entry into care homes, officials said.

The Health Department will assign doctors to regularly monitor accommodated persons. A team of volunteers too is ready to take care of them. As of now, none of them has been included in the quarantine list.

The district administration decided to shift rough sleepers to care homes following reports that the majority of them were struggling to get food, medical aid and sanitation facilities after the national lockdown following COVID-19 spread. Many of them were solely depending on food and medical aid offered by charitable organisations.

The support of the city police too was sought to find out rough sleepers and convince them of the safety requirement. Police officials from Town Station said there was no reluctance on the part of street dwellers as all of them were convinced of the situation and the need for a safe shelter to overcome the COVID-19 threat.

According to the police, most of the rough sleepers in Kozhikode city were using the available open space near the Kozhikode railway station and mofussil bus stand for their night stay. Their insecure stay without adopting any preventive measure against COVID-19 was assessed as a safety challenge for public health, which eventually resulted in their speedy rehabilitation, they said.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 11:49:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/over-90-of-rough-sleepers-shifted-to-care-homes/article31175438.ece

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