Wed | Mar 21, 2018

Malcolm Green gets new home, new life 

Published:Friday | June 16, 2017 | 12:00 AM
It was a happy moment for 76-year-old Malcolm Green (right) as he opened the door to his new home moments after receiving the keys from Patrick Porter (left), president of the Portmore Lions Club, and Spencer Reynolds, senior field officer at Food For The Poor.
Malcolm Green, 76, stands in front of the zinc structure he once called home.

After years of praying for God to send good Samaritans to construct a new house for him, Malcolm Green, a destitute 76-year-old resident of Clifton Land Settlement in St Catherine is rejoicing.

Green believes members of Food For The Poor and the Portmore Lions Club were the good Samaritans sent by God to construct a house for him in less than 12 hours on Friday, June 2.

"Mi really glad! I am thankful to Food For The Poor because I would not be able to afford this house on my own and neither would my family, because we are poor," the one-time shut-in, who lived alone in a zinc structure, said.

For decades, Green worked at a sugar company in St Catherine. Since the age of 17, he was cutting cane, weeding grass, and carrying bananas, among other responsibilities. He said that the company constructed a two-bedroom house for him and other employees, however, the house began to deteriorate.


Poor concrete


"The house started to collapse. The walls drop out because the materials used to mix the concrete was poor. I lived there a couple of years well. I was so afraid of the building and had many scary experiences. I remember one day, I was lying down on my bed inside the house and a portion of the wall drop out at my head. I was so afraid. I didn't know what would have happened if it had accidentally touched my head," Green said.

Immediately after that incident he sought refuge with his neighbouring niece, but later moved out because of challenges with space and built a small zinc structure for himself, near his collapsed house. There was no kitchen attached, so he prepared meals outside. Also, there was no bathroom facility, and the room was hot and easily inundated with insects, including moths.

After visiting him and learning of his situation, members of the Lions Club brought his case to Food for the Poor.

"As we always say, 'Where there is a need, there is a Lion.' When the Portmore Club identified this situation, it was noted that the need was not so much to give Mr Green food, but to give him proper shelter because he really was living in deplorable conditions," said Errol Lee, Lion's Club governor for sub-district 60B.

David Mair, executive director of Food For The Poor, said his team was elated to have been able to uplift Green's spirit by building a new house for him.

"We at Food For The Poor are delighted when we are able to assist destitute individuals, whether it is through the construction of a new house, food, clothing, farming items, tools and other necessities needed for survival and generating income for those in need," Mair said.