Shelter for homeless opens in Baguio City

Artemio Dumlao - Philstar.com
Shelter for homeless opens in Baguio City
Officials admit migration has caused Baguio's population to grow but said it is working to address the city's growing needs.
Artemio Dumlao

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Baguio City has inaugurated a temporary shelter named "The Drop-in or Warming Center" at the former triage area of the Baguio Convention and Cultural Center.

Designed for mentally-challenged vagrants and individuals facing street situations, the facility provides a safe space for short-term stays, offering amenities such as sleeping arrangements, clothing changes and showers.

Ricky Ducas Jr., the mental health coordinator at the City Health Services Office, said that the center is open not only to homeless individuals but also to young people who feel unsafe at home or anyone needing a brief respite.

However, individuals with mental health concerns will be assisted in obtaining a safe-to-shelter clearance from the Baguio General Hospital Medical Center (BGHMC)-Psychiatry department.

Ducas explained that a non-traumatic rescue is conducted through the efforts of personnel from the Emergency Medical Service, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, BGHMC-Psychiatry Department, Mental Health Council, CSWDO and other relevant agencies.

The initiative aims to assist psychotic vagrants, potentially bringing them to the center if there is currently no family available to take them in.

Ducas stressed the need to rescue vagrant individuals with mental health concerns, referred to as "taong grasa," in a safe and calm manner to avoid unpleasant experiences during the process.

“Mental health is a collaborative effort especially between the community and the family of those affected. It is everybody’s concern,” Ducas said.

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