New Providence residents are weighing in on assistance being offered to persons living in shanty town communities set for demolition or that have been demolished.
Crystal Major opined, “I think the government should not assist them because they had time already to prepare or what’s coming. Even in America, like, when we in America, you gat to abide by America laws. I feel like that come and they just be outlaws.”
Despite the opinions, according to officials at the Department of Social Services many of the residents of the demolished shanty towns are working and living here in the country legally. Assistant Director of the Department of Social Services Cherely Kelly said, “a team of officers from our department would have visited the Kool Acres site and we would have interviewed persons who were in possession of permanent status, permanent resident status or who may have been in possession of Bahamian passport. We did find a few Bahamians living in that shanty town, as they say, or undocumented community, and those persons would have been already assisted with shelter. And we would have come across a total of eight persons in that particular category. There was a large number of persons who were in possession of a work permit. And we do not assist persons with work permit as the employers of those persons are responsible for providing housing for them.”
Kelly said a team from Social Services also visited the All Saints shanty town community where eighteen families were interviewed.
Director of the Department of Social Services, Charlamae Fernander reiterated that the department has made arrangements to place persons in with legal status who need of accommodations.