Lee Sing photo exhibition shines light on homeless
Port of Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing has made his last attempt to raise the issue of street dwellers in the capital city through a photo exhibition, currently on display in Woodford Square.
The exhibition, which opened last Tuesday coincides with Lee Sing’s final week of official responsibilities as mayor, features photographs and selected newspaper clippings of the stark realities of the lives of street-dwellers in Port of Spain.
Lee Sing said the current Government has not done enough on the issue and is calling for the establishment of a street dwelling village.
“I am appealing to the powers-that-be that now is not the time to play politics with this matter, but now is the time to accept the burden of your responsibility. If you can’t do the job in this country, don’t volunteer for it. What I have found with the Government of the day is that there are too many people in office who can’t do the job but continue to volunteer for the assignment,” Lee Sing said.
“The Minister of the People Glenn Ramadharsingh continues to quote figures of persons rehabilitated and removed from our streets. Such data may or may not be accurate, however, it appears the minister’s facts are not in sync with reality. During the last year I walked with my camera documenting the challenges. I have embellished my photos, the selected newspaper articles with captions, as I believe each piece has a specific reference to the challenge that Dr Ramadharsingh and the Prime Minister are unable to grasp.”
Lee Sing said ending street dwelling requires a specific plan that speaks to the mandatory rehabilitation of those who are mentally ill and drug addicts, as well as treating in a holistic and creative manner the needs of deportees and persons who have fallen through the cracks.
“The evidence shows that more and more people are becoming homeless, owing to the withdrawal of work programmes from some areas in Port of Spain and the East-West Corridor. During the last three years I have sat with several ministerial and inter-ministerial teams as the collective sought to find answers. I have long concluded that much of the meetings were time wasted as the persons in attendance have chosen to remain locked inside the box.
“I have formed the opinion that the minister and the Cabinet are neither serious nor prepared to take the required action to establish a street-dwelling village where the rules, regulations and organised rehabilitation can be accommodated.”
Lee Sing said the photo exhibition is a commitment to himself as one of the strategies to address street dwelling in the country.
“This is the continuation of the exercise on the part of the (City) Corporation and I felt we could not continue our term unless we showed to the powers-that-be that enough is enough and we have to get up and treat with the matter.”
He said the public must also get engaged with the issue.
“Every citizen should demand something be done with street dwelling.”
Lee Sing has composed 39 photographs and newspaper clippings. He said the exhibition is ongoing.