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Apr 15, 2014

Homeless man perishes on Albert Street in the height of the lunch hour

A homeless man, who was a fixture in the downtown area, died today at around midday, in the height of the rush hour. The unidentified amputee would continuously hang out on his wheel chair on Albert Street at day and at night he would be found among a group of homeless persons who made their bed on Queen Street.   While he was considered as non-threatening, no one came to his assistance today when he most needed it in his final hour.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

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Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The sudden death of a vagrant in downtown Belize City during the lunch hour today, draws new attention to the plight of the homeless.  What caused him to perish under the sweltering heat of the midday sun is one for the coroners to determine.  Unfortunately, despite the commotion of rush hour traffic on Albert Street, the unidentified man, an amputee confined to a wheelchair indefinitely, died alone.

 

Voice of: Traffic Officer

“Sometimes ih deh pan Orange Street.  Ih woulda deh eena di traffic.  We woulda try help ahn move outta di traffic fi ih noh try get knock down or so or sometimes ih deh pan dis Abdu Building area and ih woulda wet up ihself.  One time we try help ahn put ahn eena di wheelchair cause I di try get ahn een but ih cyant get een, ih cyant get een cause seka weh ih have like one leg noh.”

 

It is reported that sometime after twelve o’clock, he was observed asking for help.  Seemingly, the indigent may have been requesting assistance in being wheeled from Mule Park to the other side of the busy thoroughfare.  No one came to his aid.  His nephew who was usually around to lend a hand shares his frustration.

 

Voice of: Nephew of Deceased

“Dis da weh puzzle me, I could always help everybody and at di end ah di day now when I sih my uncle down deh eena wah state nobody wahn help he, nobody wahn gih he nothing.  I da always di one weh wahn push he from point A to point B and ova, anywhere he wahn go no care how stink ih smell, no care whateva bout he, you know, dat da my uncle dat.”

 

Homelessness in Belize, particularly wandering men and women in the area of Albert Street is not an unusual prospect.  Notwithstanding a few shelters that have been established to provide daily meals, a change of clothes or a brief stay, very little is being done socially to assist the displaced.

 

Justin Gill, Youths Creating Talent

Justin Gill

“This particular individual, I’ve been dealing with him for the past five years.  This year is actually my fifth year but due to the fact that I’ve said this year is my fourth annual feeding project, due to the first year when I didn’t have it on the media.  He’s been a very bright person, he’s outgoing, right.  He sits, he talks his little problems.  During the weeks, during the time of Easter when we go out to feed them or I go out to feed them, we would usually go and wake them because this particular individual usually sleeps in front of the Queen Street Police Station and I could recall meeting with him last year and providing three meals a day for one week and it was very tough for him being that he only has one foot.”

 

Equally difficult is the fact that his next of kin are not in the country.  With no identity and no one to look after his funeral expenses, the nephew fears that he will be saddled with the cost.

 

Voice of: Nephew of Deceased

“Nobody noh know who fi contact fi dis man.  Nobody noh know nothing bout dis man now.  How dis man wahn get buried?  Who wahn bury dis man?  Dat da di idea, yoh undastand mi.  So I noh know weh wahn happen with dis man because me mihself, personally, I noh got no money.”

 

The scene, a dreadlocked man missing a lower extremity, splayed across the pavement, as customers of a nearby bank and passersby gawked in disbelief, unsure whether he was sleeping or indeed dead, caused quite a stir.

 

Voice of: Traffic Officer

“Todeh when I come like maybe twelve-fifteen I sih di man stay still, ih noh di breathe soh dat’s how I know di man dead.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now I was made to understand that on several occasions earlier, he was asking for people who are passersby to remove him from the wheelchair and apparently nobody bothered with him and they just pretty much left him there.”

 

Voice of: Traffic Officer

“Well sometimes some people no wahn badda wid ahn because, no disrespect but ih need fi tek wahn bath, you know, no disrespect, but people try help ahn, myself try help ahn sometimes.”

 

Today, however, he was alone in his final hour.

 

Justin Gill

“Like you have heard from the nephew, he doesn’t know where the cash, the money or whatsoever would come from to help bury his uncle.  And so on behalf of Youth Creating Talent, as youth president I would like to ask if there is anybody who would like to give any contributions so that this man [could be laid] to rest peacefully.  They can send any small contribution or any donation to Youths Creating Talent, at our account number 211098809 at Atlantic Bank.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Homeless man perishes on Albert Street in the height of the lunch hour”

  1. sickntired says:

    Man da when we turn into such a horrible society? Govt should bury this man. I would if i had di money but i will at least say a prayer for him.

  2. lisa says:

    So disgusted by my own people. If it was ur relative would u do the same or want someone to do thatto them. Shame.

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