HM Government of Gibraltar have said that all the recent occupants of the Retreat Centre are now accommodated elsewhere, having left the Centre of their own accord, and maintain that despite stories to the contrary, there was no need to evict anyone. They state that the rooms have been checked and confirmed to be empty.
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Press Release 10/08/20
Originally, in March, fifteen occupants were provided with free food and accommodation as they had nowhere to stay during lockdown. It was made clear to them all that this could only be a temporary arrangement as the Retreat Centre had been earmarked as an isolation facility for confirmed/suspected cases of COVID-19.
As the weeks went by, some of the fifteen found their own accommodation whilst others were helped to do so by a multi-agency team from the Housing Department, Civil Contingencies and the Care Agency. In recent weeks, one went into Bruce’s Farm, one was planning to be repatriated to Morocco, one is already in the Emil Hostel and one individual, who met the housing criteria for allocation and was at the top of the Housing waiting list, has been accommodated in line with his entitlement. However, by the beginning of last week, eight people were still living at the Retreat Centre.
In the last few days, four people have left after making their own arrangements and, following the assistance of the Housing Department, two other people have been accommodated at the Sunrise Motel.
Additionally, two people have been accommodated at the Emil Hostel and these individuals now have an allocated Social Worker to support them over the coming weeks and months.
In addition, one individual is being given assistance by the Moroccan Community Association as she waits to be repatriated.
The Government is pleased that Civil Contingencies, the Care Agency and the Housing Department have jointly been able to provide help to all these people who were struggling to find somewhere to live during lockdown. Thanks to these agencies, this is undoubtedly a story with a happy ending.