A man removes a sheet of rusty galvanize used in a barricade to block a section of Laventille Road during a protest on February 7.

The Community Recovery Committee says one of the biggest challenges facing depressed areas is that of national stigma.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley set up the committee following violent protests in Laventille and East Port of Spain on July 2.

Yesterday speaking on CNC3’s The Morning Brew, committee member Curtis Toussaint explained that a major stumbling block faced by residents of these areas is how they are perceived by the national community.

He said, “The mere fact that is their address sometimes serves as a barrier to opportunity.”

Toussaint said because of this people have even turned to use other addresses outside of the said community when applying for jobs or trying to get their children into schools.

In addition to stigma, he explained that the people from these so-called depressed communities are also faced with other social and economical challenges, the genesis of which started many years ago.

As part of the mandate given to it by the Prime Minister, the committee is to provide a report with recommendations of how to treat the issues facing these areas.

Chairman of the committee psychologist Anthony Watkins gave the assurance that there will be an input from the committee in the upcoming budget, which will be delivered on October 5.

He said the committee has been putting a lot of time and energy into research and moving forward it will be very data-driven so that any progress can be monitored properly.

“A lot of the other things, whether is infrastructure development, social development, doing programmes out in the community, we will be facilitators and linkers of other agencies with the communities in terms of them doing that.”

During the July 2 protests residents called for justice for the men who were shot and killed by police officers in Morvant on June 27.