The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) on Monday, October 17 issued a media release “to address a series of falsehoods” in video posted on the Facebook page of Phillip Edward Alexander about the Finbar Ryan Geriatric Home, Diego Martin which it manages and operates.
In his six minute, thirty second video, Alexander, the political leader of the Progressive Empowerment Party alleges elderly persons at the Home were being starved of food, held against their will, deprived of visits by relatives and not receiving medical attention.
In the release, newly elected SVP President, Nigel Phillip stated, “those in our care are treated with love, dignity, and respect. As such, we assure that the 35 residents of the Finbar Ryan Home are fully cared for and fed”.
He referred to a recent visit by Inspectors from the Division of Ageing, Ministry of Social Development, Thursday, October 13. Phillip said, “residents of the home are, and have always been, accessible to their immediate family and friends.”
The release stated the SVP, like other non-governmental organisations was adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns which caused a drastic reduction in revenue streams.
It continued, “while the care of some of the residents is partially funded by their pensions or families, the care provided for a large number of the residents is subsidised or funded in full by the Society and contributions made by caring citizens”.
Phillip is quoted, “As an organisation dedicated to serving the poor by modelling the actions of Jesus, the Society of St Vincent de Paul has played and will continue to play a vital role in assisting the poorest of the poor within our national community.”
Thanks, and appreciation was expressed to the SVP’s dedicated members, staff and ‘Friends of Finbar Ryan Committee’ who as unsung heroes, provided unstinting service and dedication to the cause.
The release acknowledged the national network of 65 independently run SVP Conferences and their dedicated and committed members for their tireless and quiet service to Trinidad and Tobago.
The release concluded, “The Society welcomes any financial or other support that concerned citizens wish to provide, to assist the Home in providing care for
the elderly in our community. To give assistance please call St Vincent de Paul offices on 625-3562 to share your time, treasure, and talent.”