BVHS expresses concern about ill-treatment of homeless persons

The Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society (BVHS) has expressed concern about how some of its clients who are homeless, are being treated by members of the Barbadian public.

President of the BVHS, Kemar Saffrey called attention to the issue, noting that the Society has received a number of complaints from clients, about ill-treatment.

“We know of situations where clients are being assaulted. Some claim that business persons would throw water on them when they see them at their door some mornings. They are some that would go on the streets at night and assault homeless persons. Things are being stolen from them as they sleep,” Saffrey indicated.

“We have gotten a number of complaints and we encourage our clients when these things happen to go to the police,” he noted.

Saffrey however quickly added that many of these homeless persons are reluctant to report these matters to the police, for fear of how they will be treated by members of the Royal Barbados Police Force, given the fact that they sleep on the streets.

Saffrey also took the opportunity to make an outcry about a video in particular that is now circulating on social media, in which the Society was tagged. Saffrey pointed out that the video shows a popular homeless man, being pepper-sprayed and made a mockery of. Saffrey indicated that the homeless man, known to the public by the alias, “Ninja Man”, suffers from a mental disorder and often acts irrational when he if off of his medication. As such, he has decried the treatment of the man in this video, by a “youngster” who in the video laughs and jokes that he only give him a small dose of the pepper spray, and then amuses himself further, as the homeless man attempts to rid his face of the spray, by washing his face and head in a puddle of dirty water on the street.

“One of the things we want to place on record, is that the BVHS does not condone this,” Saffrey said of the action.

“When we see videos that are posted of someone wilfully pepper spraying someone and then going behind a camera and making a joke or a movie about this behaviour, this is not acceptable,” he added, while calling for the police to get involved, since the homeless have rights as well. (RSM)

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