Effects Of Vagrancy In Trinidad And Tobago

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Vagrancy is unceasingly on the rise in Trinidad and Tobago and all it takes is a casual walk through the streets to observe the extent of the issue. Vagrancy also referred to as ‘nowayrians’, ‘the homeless’ or ‘vagabond’ is defined as the state of occupying residence on the streets- a person who wanders from place to place without a home, employment or means of income. They usually occupy the area, littering the walkway with discarded cardboard boxes, mattresses and garbage bags they use for their makeshift shelters. The problem is not limited to the capital (Port- of-Spain) but also in the country’s urban centres like San- Fernando, San Juan, Sangre Grande, Curepe Junction, Tunapuna, Chaguanas to name a few.
A vagrant lives by panhandling those who have the basic necessities to assist with anything they can provide for survival. Historically they have been pigeonholed as ‘objects of scorn or mistrust’ or ‘worthy of help or charity’ however, others show them as outlaws or, traitors, who make a parasitical living through theft, fear and threat. How they got on the streets is believed by many to be the cause of alcohol and illegal substance abuse, or mental illness. To add, few of these displaced persons are by-products of losing their social bonds – ex-prisoners, domestic violence, and poverty. Therefore, for a person with ‘no fixed place of abode’, the streets of Trinidad and Tobago are definitely “the fast lane” or “the place to be”. Many a time’s good Samaritans will

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