SWEENEY’S, Montserrat – Minister of Health Colin Riley was on hand Monday to cut the ribbon and officially open Oriole Villas, the first home for mentally challenged persons on island.
Situated in Sweeney’s Montserrat, the 12-unit facility is managed by Warden Glanford Cabey who assists residents with their daily needs, including receiving medication, making phone calls and personal hygiene.
Minister Riley commended the previous minister of health and the practitioners who envisioned the 3.2 million dollar housing project and saw it through to completion.
Former Permanent Secretary of Health Mrs. Beverley Mendes, said the building was completed almost one year ago and that the villa was a part of a larger project to provide adequate housing for the 65 people that are registered as mentally challenged and those in the vulnerable groups on Montserrat.
“The Housing Strategy Report of 2004 highlighted the fact that while vulnerable persons who were elderly and physically challenged were being looked after, a high 64% of those who were mentally challenged were still living in very unacceptable conditions.
“This particular warden supported facility, the Oriole villas, is one component, the largest single component of the broader project called ‘Housing and Social Care Project for the Mentally Challenged and Vulnerable.’ It formed part of the final phase of housing components which DFID agreed in principle in 2001. The other components; apartments, duplexes, single dwelling homes and a Social Care Programme are still ongoing,” Mrs. Mendes said during her speech at the opening.
She said the officially opening of the Oriole Villas has provided several causes for celebration including the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and Environment coming closer to their goal of emptying the shelters and providing adequate accommodations for all residents; pumping 3.2 million dollars of the more than 10 million dollars for the overall scheme into the economy, and finding a suitable location for the home which was acceptable to both the tenants and the communities surrounding.
The PS, who is now in charge of the Office of the Chief Minister, said she could not but thank the many people within the health ministry, public works, the contractors and community leaders who worked tirelessly to bring the project to fruition.
Entertainment for the short ceremony was provided by playwright and comedic poet Edith Duberry and Oriole Villa resident Tyrell Buntin.
Photos of the event can be seen on the Spirit of Montserrat Facebook Page – Week in Pictures.
1- Honourable Minister of Health Colin Riley cuts the ribbon officially opening Oriole Villas on Monday, October 11, 2010. (GIU Photo)
2- The outside of the 3.2 million dollar housing facility for the mentally challenged. Oriole Villas has 12 units. (GIU Photo)