On being homeless in Kingstown – Discrimination and Kindness
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January 31, 2020

On being homeless in Kingstown – Discrimination and Kindness

EDITOR: One month of the new year is gone. So far for me and my homeless friends it goes much the same here.

My previous letter on discrimination at money services downtown, had no effect whatsoever on the NEW security guard.

That’s right there is another one! It started around Christmas time, I as usual was waiting for a friend to collect for me. so it occurred to me that I could go the head of the senior citizens line, since my friend Dennis fits into that category. I was not there 20 minutes when this new security guard who had been giving me hostile looks since I entered removed me from this position, so that when my friend arrived, he had to join the line from scratch.

My next move will be to go straight to the top at Grace Kennedy money services and let the powers that be there know what qualifies as service here in SVG at their institution.

Guardsman – A breath of fresh air

My relationship with Guardsman is bitter sweet. At the mental health center in Glen, Guardsman was a breath of fresh air.

Guys like Browne, Simmons, Morris, Williams (the one with the two kids Rommel included) and many more, used the security guidelines with common sense, empathy, in the face of the SNO madness, where MHC is now officially a jail (details on that forthcoming in another report).

( I’ll bet the inmates are still drinking water in the corridor section from a hose straight from the dirty floor. At some point Ill take back up writing on MHC again, discrimination is intrinsic in that locale). The point is a uniform should not automatically lead to abuse of power but moral judiciousness as my Guardsman friends at MHC demonstrated.

Azuba, Providence and Faustina (a Guardsman employee who is also a grandmother), cemented my good relations with Guardsman in their locale the National Library in Kingstown. Gifting me with a Massys bag, making helpful suggestions, and looking out for the kids in better modes than the previous security team, are all indications that the bad apples should be rooted out, disenfranchised (in turn) on the terms of users who really rely on them.

Inaction and violence by the Police

Where I stay in Kingstown, to move onto another matter, is a small camp-like setting for 5 of us occasionally joined by friends. One is female, has had decent jobs in hospitality, and faces challenges especial to her sex on the street. One plus for this young lady is that she has stayed clean of drugs, although she has been disenfranchised for a long time. Recently her clothes were burned, and one should remember that for the fairer sex clothing affords a certain dignity and ultimate expression especially in a case where you are homeless.

Not wanting to get into the politics of the event where her and her boyfriend were targeted, when a sizeable portion of her property, mostly clothes were torched. The morning it happened, I came back to the location to find three police officers on the scene while the blaze was diminishing. In light of their presence, it is off putting to note that nothing came out of the event for the perpetrator. I happen to know the background story behind the event, but I choose to wait and see if SOME authority will clear up why no heads rolled on this account. I mean if our prime ministers clothes were torched, an investigation with bells on would have sounded 2 seconds later.

Which leads me to comment on a rousting from public benches at Kingstown board car park, where I was sitting writing working as usual, no explanation given by officer 750. Or when at Camp sleeping, awaken by a drunk police officer, who gave a kick to one of my neighbours (both these incidents were reported to the complaints department, the information taken by a senior officer who took my phone number but has yet to call me back).

Thanks to Lewis Pharmacy and others for their kindness

So I realise these discrimination letters can seem a bit unfriendly. I want to thank friends Dr.

Chester Toney, Judith Bacchus, Cleve Lewis, Trevor Edwards, Annelle Thomas, educator Ms. Peters, the wonderful staff at the National Library including cousin Michelle Campbell, the staff at Metrocint, insurance agent Kim Haydock, book store (mogul?) Dennis Gaymes and all the other citizens of SVG, who are walking on beds of coal in true spiritual fashion to help an outcast who as a genius musician and Pulitzer prize worthy writer (just reporting what I’ve been told) who, in any other country would have been afforded a chance to prove himself.

So I leave with one other anecdote. Again, around Christmas, I ran out of my side effects medicine and only had one quarter to my name to buy one. I went to Lewis pharmacy, and told them I could only afford one and whether they would sell such a small quotient. When I got home there were 10 pills in the bag! A simple gesture which at $2.25 regular terms was a small miracle for me in terms of morale, since side effects from pyschotropic medicine for me is extreme discomfort, and immobilises me for hours. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

Colin King