Court Shamrock is situated at Rushworth Street Extension, San Fernando. At the time of its inception in 1999, it was envisaged to be a ‘Walk-in Decanting Centre’ providing free hot meals to the elderly, the homeless or anyone in need. Beds were also offered for a night, but having no place else to go except back to the streets, the people made Court Shamrock their home. Thus, Court Shamrock became the ‘Centre for Socially Displaced Persons’.
Court Shamrock today is overseer by Mr Trevor Braithwaite, a staff of three Caregivers who are professionally trained to handle the mental, physical and social needs of the residents, and Dr Steve Bailey a volunteer psychiatrist who visits the centre on a regular basis. The residents of Court Shamrock are: the substance abusers, deportees, mentally challenged teenagers, the homeless elderly and adolescents and past prisoners who have been socially displaced.
Court Shamrock treats all aspects of the residents’ rehabilitation, providing for their medical, mental and physical well being. The Centre interacts with various health facilities which include Emergency Health Services [EHS], Health Centres, the General Hospital, San Fernando and the National Centre for Persons with Disabilities [NCPD]l. The adults who are employed contribute a fraction of their earnings for rent at the Centre as a way of learning responsibility. At Court Shamrock the day begins for the residents at 5:30 a. m. here they attend to their personal needs. At 7:00 a. m. they gather in the Hall for a church service. At 8:00 a. m. breakfast is served [it is stipulated that everyone must attend the table at meal times properly dressed, that is, long pants, a shirt or t-shirt, socks and shoes as shorts, vests and slippers are unacceptable].
After breakfast, some residents disperse to work and school, the elderly are free to remain on the compound and relax for the day, and the substance abusers attend a strict Narcotics Anonymous program which begins promptly at 9:00 a. . and ends at 2:00 p. m. lunch inclusive. Substance abusers are between the ages of 23 and 43 years and are confined to the compound for the period of their rehabilitation (an agreement is signed relative to this stipulation on entry to the Centre. The Narcotics Anonymous program is facilitated by the caregivers who use their skills together with Narcotics Anonymous Books and Guidelines to assist residents in their pursuit of rehabilitation because the Centre has no professional Social Worker.
Sessions are sometimes carried on by Mr Braithwaite or rehabilitated substance abusers invited by the Staff to encourage the residents to be steadfast in their efforts towards recovery. Sessions are flexible, in that, the caregivers include games and variety of methods to break the monotony of the meetings. The residents have opportunities through Outreach Programs organized by the Centre, to share with students of various secondary schools, their experience with drugs and its effects on their lives,
Court Shamrock ‘believes in the inherent dignity and respect that is the right of every individual regardless of live circumstances, and is committed to treating all aspects of the Clients’ total rehabilitation, providing for their medical, mental and physical and social well being’. This being their philosophy, together with the multiplicity of people, each with diverse needs all residing under one roof, makes Court Shamrock the unique place it is today.