(CMR) Is there a homelessness problem in Cayman?
That was the response of some on social media after Alric Lindsay, one of the unsuccessful independent candidates in the 2017 General Elections, raised the issue on his Facebook page on Monday (June 1).
“If arrangements can’t be made with family or friends, is there a homeless shelter here in Cayman where people can go?” Lindsay asked on Facebook.
The question posed by Lindsay, received plenty of feedback with many questioning whether the island really had a homelessness issue.
According to Lindsay, the country does have a homelessness issue though he did not provide an indication as to the scale of the problem.
Lindsay shared with his Facebook family that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he had met a man who had been living on the beach.
“He said it was a personal choice because of some family issues. He couldn’t stay with his family,” said Lindsay on Facebook.
“During COVID, some people vacated their apartments and now live with friends or family. This multiplied the number of people in some households,” added Lindsay on the social media platform.
According to Lindsay, successive administrations have maintained the “ status quo” and in hard times have simply sent people to the Needs Assessment Unit (NAU) rather than creating a long term plan.
Lindsay went on the add that it was time to encourage self-sufficiency and independence.
“We need to help people become self-sufficient and independent. We need opportunity. Alternative education ie trade schools like Inspire Cayman. Ability to retrain or retool and enter other industries. We need infrastructure and 30-50 year plan that includes these considerations,” said Lindsay on Facebook
“Without a plan and unemployment projected into next year, how many more will lose homes an not have a place to live? How many will have access to education or training or psychological attention to help them lift upwards and out of a difficult situation, “ added Lindsay.
Despite initial issues with his nomination, Lindsay ran as an Independent candidate for the George Town South division in the May 24 General Elections.
The seat was won by Barbara Conolly of the Progressives, as she secured 375 votes which amounted to 40. 67% of the vote.