By Chito Chavez
The Quezon City (QC) government on Sunday has provided 38 street dwellers with a temporary shelter in a facility at the Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) as the city implements measures in line with the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Mayor Joy Belmonte said the street dwellers included several individuals who were unable to return to their provinces due to the lock down.
“I ordered to convert the facility from a temporary quarantine area into a holding area for street dwellers where they can stay until the end of the quarantine period,” Belmonte said.
After the quarantine period, Belmonte said the local government will provide the necessary interventions for each individual, depending on their situation and needs.
According to Carol Patalinghog, chief of the Welfare and Relief Division of the city’s Social Services and Development Department (SSDD), the street dwellers were referred to them by Barangay East Kamias.
“The SSDD has provided all the needs of the occupants like soup kitchen, clean comfort room, partition tents, beds, and mobile shower,” Patalinghog said.
Patalinghog added that the QC Health Department ensures the well-being of the occupants by regularly checking their temperature.
The SSDD and the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) have assigned their respective personnel to the area to ensure the welfare and safety of the street dwellers.
When the quarantine period is over, the SSDD will extend livelihood assistance to the street dwellers and shoulder the transportation expenses of those who wish to return to their province.
Patalinghog said that social workers are regularly gathering in street families roaming the city and providing them shelter to secure them against COVID-19.