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Accommodation found for wards following fire at Walker's Place of Safety

State Minister for Youth Floyd Green; Prime Minister Andrew Holness; Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips
 
The government has identified alternative accommodation for the more than 30 children who were displaced following Monday night's fire at Walker's Place of Safety on Lyndhurst Crescent in St. Andrew.
 
Floyd Green, State Minister in the Ministry of Youth, told RJR News Tuesday afternoon that the children will be housed in three homes across the Corporate Area.
 
"What we are going to be doing is clearly ensuring that we give priority to communal ties, so siblings will be kept together and age groups will be kept together," he said, adding that the process of moving the children should be completed by Tuesday night.
 
Monday night's fire claimed the lives of two girls aged 12 and 16.
 
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who visited the burnt out facility on Tuesday afternoon, said measures are being implemented to ensure that places of safety meet required standards.
 
"It certainly brings to the forefront the need for government to make sure that places of safety are actually safe; that the places that we provide for our children that are less fortunate, or who are under the care of the court, or who have been abandoned or who are in need of special care; that those...are safe places and truly are meeting the standards that societies require," he declared.
 
As a result, Mr. Holness said he has asked Youth Minister Senator Ruel Reid to review policies and procedures governing the facilities.
 
In the meantime, Dr. Peter Philips, Opposition Leader and Member of Parliament for St. Andrew East Central - in which Walker's Place of Safety is located - visited the 34 wards of the state on Tuesday and donated toiletries.
 
"We are going to donate a quarter million dollars, which we are hoping that the Lion's club will open a special account that private organisations can contribute to facilitate the rebuilding of the place of safety and the relocation of the children," he said. 
 
According to Dr. Phillips, after assessments are done, his office will be working with voluntary organisations to assist the children and rebuild Walker's Place of Safety. 
 


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