BVI News

PHOTO OF THE DAY: ‘Essentially homeless’

Photo by Esther Durand/BVI News

A local man, Sonnel Hanley, is captured outdoors sitting by himself on a bench inside the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park in Road Town. He was photographed on the afternoon of Monday, April 7 in the midst of a territory-wide curfew which prohibits all non-essential workers from leaving their homes. According to local court archives, Hanley has no known place of abode and has a history of questionable mental health.

The British Virgin Islands is under a 24-hour lockdown that will run for 14 consecutive days. The lockdown is scheduled to end after Sunday, April 19.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

60 Comments

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  1. Wow. says:

    Yall ain’t have nothing better to talk about. This ain’t news!!!

    Like 16
    Dislike 39
    • @ Wow says:

      Use some common sense. Their concerns are for the next 14 days lock down, how is he going to survive without a meal. The persons who would be kind to offer him something to eat are not allowed outside of their homes. The supermarkets where he might have been able to get a handout are closed. Show some empathy.

      Like 82
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      • Hellboy says:

        He Will lose Some Weight

        Like 8
        Dislike 25
      • We understand but says:

        At the same time this the man picking fights with women wanting to blows them down, gets sent to prison after acting up just to be fed good food, and allegedly caught masturbating on that same bench numerous times, we know these people have issues, we drug them up and put them to mix and mingle with society because as soon as they are no longer considered the youth then they are nobody’s problem. He wouldn’t be outside the streets if he was inside of a mental care facility.

        Like 27
        Dislike 4
    • OMG says:

      Please help the man. Mental illness is no joke. The virus spreading amongst mental health patients is a real problem. How can you stand there take a picture and not help the man.

      Like 32
      Dislike 2
    • MH says:

      All you do is set and wait for the news to drop..

    • Forward ever Backward never says:

      @Wow
      Yes it is news. This government and previous administrations should be ashamed of themselves. They have individuals with social and mental issues in the trash basket. This problem is ongoing with no solution in sight. These people at the very least needs to be sheltered. If a category 5 hurricane was coming him and others like him will be victim to the elements. Social Services in the BVI is non-existent. BVI is the second wealthiest territory behind Cayman Islands. Developing and building our Human Capital has never been a priority. So, Wow whoever you are, “this is news”.

      Like 17
      Dislike 1
      • Pomp and Circumstance says:

        You hit the nail on the head. Social Services is nothing but a poppyshow with too many issues hidden under the rug.

  2. Yep says:

    He has been labeled a non-essential by our society, so no one gives a da#n. Not even family members care. Truth Be Told.

    Like 33
    Dislike 1
  3. Yep says:

    He has been labeled a non-essential period, by our society, so no one gives a da#n. Not even family members care. Truth Be Told.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  4. The Irony says:

    In “Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park.” Rest In Power (RIP) Great Soul. Our learning on Earth has been slow, but not lost.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
  5. Truth Sayer says:

    Why is Sonnel not at the Sandy Lane Centre? If he goes there, he can get several meals.

    Like 19
    • From your perspective? says:

      @ truth sayer. Do you know his state at the moment? This is a call for the professionals to undertake.

      Like 6
      Dislike 1
      • . says:

        Sandy Lane Centre is for drug abuse. Safe Haven is the name of the centre for our people without a place to stay. He is well known in the community, and probably has been offered to stay there but refuses to, as there are rules.

        Like 6
        Dislike 1
        • @ . says:

          For your info…safe haven has been on lockdown quarantine to prevent their people inside from catching COVID. He can go there and be outside but he won’t be allowed inside because nobody knows if he as covid. he will get a meal there…Sonniel is not a mental case…he just allegedly has a drug problem. He is smart…every now and then he will do something to get lock up because in Balo is a roof over his head and 3 square meals a day…he ain’t mental…just a man who is frustrated with life. You all should go talk to him some time. SMH just like look and judge a book by its cover.

          Like 4
          Dislike 1
  6. Just saying .... says:

    Just goes to show you how much authorities give a damn about the mentally ill here. They leave him out in a curfew with nothing, and likewise happy for him to wander around town all day. Sad state!

    Like 18
    Dislike 2
  7. help says:

    PICK HIM UP AND TAKE HIM STRAIGHT TO SANDY LANE FOR A BED, BATH AND MEAL WHICH ARE PROVIDED FOR PEOPLE LIKE HIM

    Like 21
  8. Noel says:

    Remember how I was treated by you my people.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
    • Forward ever Backward never says:

      @Noel
      Yes, Noel suffered here in the BVI. People treat their pets better than how Noel were treated here. Yeah they named a park after him. Was that gesture their guilty conscience? This does not take the place of showing empathy, care and attention.

    • Diaspora says:

      In recent times, many evoke the name of Noel Lloyd. He is now revered and a national hero; he was recognized as a national treasure and hero by a former government (one member of the current government was part of that government) on his dying bed in the US.

      However, Noel was always treated nicely or with respect. He was treated as a pariah, scorned and treated as crazy. Here is a news flash. It is through Noel’s agitation and personal sacrifices that Wickham Cay is now in the hands of locals. In the mid 1960s, Wickham Cay and 1/2 of Anegada was being leased to Kenneth Bates Hill, a UK firm, for a 99 years. This apartheid style agreement was not in the best interest of the VI and its people. Under this agreement, Virgin Islanders would have been only hewers of wood and drawers of water.

      Consequently, Noel and Positive Action Movement (PAM) worked fearlessly, relentlessly, tirelessly and with great personal sacrifices to correct this disastrous agreement that was a lose-lose for the VI and its people. The VI owe Noel and PAM a deep debt of gratitude. One of the unrepeatable national holidays should be renamed Noel Lloyd Day. What you say Premier?

      • Quiet Warrior says:

        @Diaspora, who was the administrator(s) and chief minister that negotiated this horrible agreement? The administrator(s) was Martin Samuel Stavely and Sir Ian Thomson and the Chief Minister was the iconic HL Stoutt ( not sure how much he had in fleshing out the agreement). Another blogger noted that the crown representative represents the crown, not the VI and its people. That is true even when the VI benefits.

  9. @WOW says:

    Again use your common sense. What if this man contracts the virus, he is everywhere and have never been under lock down. How much safer would citizen be even when the curfew is lifted ????

    Like 4
    Dislike 3
  10. WE Man says:

    Where are the Christians in our holier than thou society?

    Like 27
    Dislike 4
    • Live says:

      They gone ‘Live’ on Facebook to pretend how them good – preaching that Jesus is coming.

      Like 16
      Dislike 3
    • guest says:

      watching jesus on tv

      Like 8
      Dislike 2
    • Frett says:

      What Christians have to do with this. Why you not helping him so concerned. Oh it’s easier to point at someone else. Hate destroys our society. Go help him stop hating Christians.

      Like 4
      Dislike 8
      • Earth@Frett says:

        With an answer like that, is it any wonder that Christianity is on the decline in the Black community?

        Also, it is clear you don’t understand what true hate is. Even though you see it explicitly in America and probably experience it here occasionally.

        Like 1
        Dislike 5
  11. Bob Marley says:

    “They all want to go to heaven, but none of them want to visit Santa anytime soon.

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  12. Been there. says:

    None of us is immune against mental health issues. I see this fellow in and around town almost everyday. He will ask for money to buy food but he is, generally, a nonviolent fellow. I think he can be helped. We do have a mental health department here. I would love to hear from them. Maybe the news team could go beyond just reporting the news. Contact the mental health department and let us hear what they say.
    Thanks.

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
    • Reader says:

      @ Been there…If I recall, Sonnel once told me he lives with his father. This may not have changed. However, most likely due to his mental illness, he would not know how to observe lockdown. I knew his mother (who passed years ago) and siblings when they were younger. If what I heard is correct, at some point he got messed up from drug use…in the past he exhibited aggressiveness while begging. I trust that Mental Health is already on top of his case in terms of giving him the required medication on a reg. basis. I also trust that the Ministry of Health will be finally able to provide a facility to help rehabilitate persons like Sonnel who suffer with mental health challenges.

    • Resident says:

      The man has several violent incidents in his past assaulting men and women

      Like 6
      Dislike 3
  13. guest says:

    watching jesus on tv

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  14. Mankind says:

    Them tourists slap offs coming up on he,Drug his a** then isolate,

    Like 2
    Dislike 5
  15. Mankind says:

    I see movies in mylife head.

  16. Lone wolf says:

    This is not funny this is where true christians come in and step up to the plate and reach out and render assistance to this lost soul then I guess them to caught up inbig houses fancy cars and bank account with six figures sleep good now yo hear.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  17. Mh says:

    I can prepare some food for him but the police would of to pick it up and take take it to him..let me know!

    Like 11
  18. Exactly says:

    @lone wolf. Their mettle of their faith should be tested in times like these. The worst that can happened is that they will get to their precious Jesus sooner rather than later. Maybe they still possess little faith and faking the rest for all the material comforts they can hoard.

    Like 5
    Dislike 3
  19. BOL says:

    I swear he was on a cellphone phone.My Man counting his fingers

  20. Why says:

    So because he is allegedly homeless he doesn’t have any privacy? Is this a cry for help on his behalf? If so I know better ways this could be done.

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
    • Privacy says:

      @why. In the BVI; come on now!

    • 007 says:

      What privacy are you talking about? The guy is in the heart of town in a public place and you talking about privacy. But on a different topic without nobody to beg he will be forced to commit crimes. He should be in an institution where he can be treated for his illness and receive care. There are many others like him and it is foolish to think that these guys are just somewhere sitting patiently for the curfew to end. When the hunger and thirst is to strong to bear they will go to the nearest home or store and it may not be a nice request for food.

      Like 5
      Dislike 2
      • @ 007 says:

        So if YOU are sitting in a park it’s okay for your photo to be taken and an article written with your name attached, with a description of your alleged circumstances… oh and with no consent? Think before you speak/write for goodness’ sake.

        Like 2
        Dislike 4
        • 007 says:

          It won’t be ok with me but it is not necessary by law to request authorization to take a photograph of anybody in a public
          place. A lot of y’all just speak without facts and the irony is you are talking about thinking before you speak or write. Quote the law that is being broken or cite any instance where someone was prosecuted in the BVI or even any modern developed country for taking a photograph of anybody in a public place. The only instances would be places, times where there are no cameras allowed and the rule was broken.

          • @007 says:

            When did I say anything about the law? You need the law to help you consider someone’s right to dignity (through privacy)? Wow. Imma head out now.

          • 007 says:

            The real question should be when did I mention that it was ok for what was done to Sonnel? I just simply stated the obvious by saying you can’t have privacy in a public place, that’s an oxymoron. You never see BVInews taking pictures of anybody in their house because that’s a private setting. They need an invitation. You can apologize later now I’m out.

  21. Yall wicked! says:

    This is exploitation! More articles mean you can sell more ads. You are making money off of this man’s misery. BVI News is calling down the wrath of God on themselves. And the rest of Y’all scorning this man but the other day all of you wanted to bask in yellow’s glory that she is making a comeback. oh, that’s my mother or I gave her money, PATHETIC. BVI is a wicked place full of wicked people, local and foreign. Successful BVIslanders shouldn’t come home, I’ve noticed your own people does get you hooked on drugs to bring you down, just as wicked as the other countries that you scorn and call down.

    Like 3
    Dislike 10
  22. @007 says:

    Do you know the story, or are you telling it for him? “When the rain falls, it falls on everyone’s house tops.”

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
  23. SAD says:

    THE US WAS PLACING HOMELESS IN HOTELS

  24. ok NOW says:

    Well take him to your house since you’re a good samaritan

  25. BuzzBvi says:

    Not going to see the Bishop breaking curfew to go and help him.

  26. 007 has big talk says:

    Ask the house about public places to do s/him ting. Ting to talk!

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  27. Quiet Rebel says:

    Who give the photographer permission the right to take Sonnel’s pic assumedly without his permission, violating his right by publishing it? His being homeless, does not mean he looses his rights and privacy.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
    • Westman says:

      When your mentally I’ll with a history of assaulting ppl when you don’t get what you want and the gov is slack and ….He’s still out and about…..you loss your frickeken right.

  28. Plusguy says:

    My question is if your supposed to be on non essential lock down, who the h**l breaking the rules running around taking pictures. That’s not essential duh!

  29. Anonymous says:

    As far as I know Sonnel is not a candidate for Safe Haven. Safe Haven is a transitional home where people go and are taught skills to return 5o society
    This man needs a mental health facility where he can be locked down and not abuse people. Safe Haven does not appears to be a lock down facility with security. why is there not a facility for all these people. this had been an ongoing social problem. This social problem will only get worse so start being proactive before its get out of hand even more. our social services need to address these problems seriously. these individuals and problems are not going anywhere.

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