Safe night for client at Belmont shelter


President of the Belmont Community Centre Brian Cooper, left, assists a St Ann’s resident in preparing a cot at the Belmont Community Centre, Jerningham Avenue, Belmont, on Tuesday evening. The resident was the first to be admitted to the disaster shelter housed at the community centre ahead of a storm that hit Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday. Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

THE elderly man who sought refuge at a public shelter at the new Belmont Community Centre, in the face of an impending tropical cyclone on Tuesday, spent a safe and uneventful night there, Belmont Community Council president Brian Cooper told Newsday on Wednesday.

A weather alert had been called off overnight after the storm largely stayed away from Trinidad, which ultimately saw just a little rain at about 3 am on Wednesday, but without gusting winds.

The client, who opted to not give his name to Newsday, had arrived at the shelter at about 3 pm on Tuesday, saying the venue was much safer than his own home to face a storm.

He was a 76-year-old who lived in St Ann’s.

The shelter offered a dormitory, kitchen, wash room and laundry.

Cooper told Newsday the client had spent a restful night at the shelter.

“We passed the night peacefully. We had no storm hit us, so we thank God for that.

“By 6.15 am this morning he left for home. He slept through the night here.

“Nobody else reported. Just him.”

Cooper thanked the Fire Service for sending a fire officer to spend the night at the shelter to lend support if needed.

Asked if the client had eaten anything, Cooper replied,”Yes. He just wanted some tea and little Crix biscuits, nothing much.”

Newsday asked how the client had managed on the canvas and aluminium cot he had been provided.

Cooper replied, “Very well. I heard him snoring, so I know he was asleep.

“So all is well, all is well, all is well.”

On Tuesday, Cooper had said the shelter could have accommodated 24 people and would not wish to turn away anyone, as he vowed to make the client feel at home.

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