BVI News

Occupants with ‘options’ don’t want to leave shelter

Stephen Payne points out to a damaged section of the roof at the Multipurpose Sports Complex

Executive Director of the BVI Recreational Trust, Stephen Payne said some shelter residents are choosing to remain at the Multipurpose Sports Complex in Road Town even though they can find accommodations elsewhere.

Payne now wants authorities to commit to the dates set to close the shelter.

Several closing dates were set since the shelter opened last September but authorities have not committed to any.

The facility was never meant to be a shelter but, due to the severe damage to designated shelters after Hurricane Irma, the complex was opened to the public for one month.

Now, almost five months later, 21 persons including infants and senior citizens are still housed at the complex.

“The last date that was set was two Fridays ago, but dates were set but not enforced,” Payne told BVI News on Friday.

Shelter occupants content

The Executive Director said shelter residents appear to be content living at the facility.

“Some people here can go back to their homes but, for some reason, they chose not to,” he said.

“They are not paying water or light bill, you still have people (authorities) bringing clothes and food. So there is no real need [for occupants] to leave,” Payne said.

BVI News was made to understand that out of the remaining residents still living at the facility, a large percentage is expatriate workers.

It is also understood that they were living in rented homes which got destroyed and many landlords are either waiting for insurance payouts or are trying to rebuild out of pocket.

 Facility now losing money

Payne said the complex is now losing revenue, but it is not only because the facility is being used as a shelter.

He explained that government is allocating money to areas that are priority, and he believes that no funds will be allocated to repairing the facility anytime soon.

Payne estimates that a combined total of $30 million will be needed to restore all local sporting facilities that sustained damage during last year’s hurricanes.

The executive director is now dreading the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season that officially begins on June 1.

He said various sections of the complex still needs repairs and he fears the facility could sustain further damage if it isn’t fixed before another hurricane hits.

Gaping holes in roof

Payne noted that two sections of the facility’s roof were considerably damaged during the hurricanes last year.

Presently, tarps are covering the large gaping holes in the roof.

Payne told BVI News that when it rains, water seeps through and causes damage to the wooden flooring of the basketball court. The water also settles inside the facility and causes mosquito breeding, Payne added.

“The building is not resilient enough,” he lamented.

Payne, who has been Executive Director of the Recreational Trust for a few years, claimed that the longer the residents remain, the longer the facility will be affected by weather.

The BVI Recreation Trust is a statutory body which falls under the Ministry of Education and Culture.

A section of the basketball court at the Multipurpose Sports Complex .

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  1. Watcher says:

    Sad situation!

  2. listen says:

    This is foolishness now…if they have someplace to go they MUST GO!! Its time ya’ll put your foot down.

  3. vi says:

    … why he singling them out.

  4. uhuh says:

    I wondering why Mr. Sca…… is still there……

  5. ??? says:

    I am often embarrassed to be a Virgin Islander and this is no exception. These situations are comical. The simplest things are apparently so difficult to do around here…How does this country (territory) continue to function!? Our laws, policies, agencies, programs and facilities are all in a complete state of dysfunction and disrepair. I want to see how much longer we sustain this madness. If the people have other places to go, PUT THEM OUT. Our facilities need to be repaired and used for their intended purpose. You have overstayed your welcome.

  6. Eagle eye says:

    The youths need to get back on track with their sports.get dem to ……. outtttt

  7. the rock says:

    why cant our community centers be used to housed these individuals, sea cows bay is empty, that can hold all of these persons. come on social development do your job!

    • @ the rock says:

      There goes the assumption that social development is Not doing its job. Just like everything around her decisions with serious ramifications are made from the highest level, but when the “it hits the fan”, its the department’s that come under these heads is whose being asked to clean the mess. Not to long ago people were up in arms about some of them being asked to leave. Attention needs to be given to those who truly do not have other options. But how can you do so when like everything else, lawlessness reigns supreme.

  8. Peaches says:

    A certain church up East had to bar up the place to get them out because they were not looking to leave. They had no respect for the House of God. Drinking alcohol, etc. I know that God was not pleased. They have the church in a mess, stole all the scared things of the church. They were glad to be there because they had no bills. The Government need to put down its feet likewise.

  9. Interested says:

    Why Sea Cows Bay? We do not want our center occupied for an indefinite period of time by people who apparently have no intentions of finding permanent homes.

  10. No No No says:

    Not Sea Cows Bay. People Dont want to leave the complex because of free rent and free everything else. Leave our Community Center in Sea Cows Bay alone.

  11. aha says:

    sea cow’s bay is not a dumping ground

  12. Third Time says:

    This is the third time I commented on this new site and it was not posted. I realize whose this news site is and so I will not comment again because today is the last day I pull up this news site. And I will move further to see whats going on, not like I already don’t know, but I will confirm.

  13. *Hmm says:

    So tell me something, have the authorities question these people about where they were living & actually visit the homes to see what kind of condition they’re in? Are these people who in the complex actively making any kind of effort to get themselves out of there? Are they working? If they’re not from here, unemployed, no living quarters why then wouldn’t immigration send them back to their homeland? Makes no sense in prolonging what’s going on.

  14. @@@ says:

    Passed there one evening and a lady was outside getting her hair braided, i was like seriously, yeah some of these people work, make them pay rent….

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