Thu | Jul 18, 2019

Burnt-out Windsor Avenue families getting assistance

Published:Wednesday | July 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/ Gleaner Writer
Some residents of Windsor Avenue in May Pen, Clarendon were left homeless following an early Monday morning attack in the community also known as Ghetto.

The Windsor Avenue, May Pen families who were burnt out by Monday morning's attack are now receiving assistance from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and other stakeholders.

The sudden attack in the wee hours of the morning left eight families homeless, according to information from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security office in May Pen, Clarendon.

Acting Parish Manager Warren Green, told The Gleaner that they have already distributed food packages which include toiletries, blankets and sheets. He said that they are now in the process of securing mattresses for the victims.

The Social Development Commission has sent a team to the area, more popularly known as Ghetto, which is located behind the May Pen Tax Office.

Parish Manager Baldvin McKenzie said the team will be on the ground gathering information and seeing how best they can help the families to adjust. McKenzie, who also co-chairs the Clarendon Inter Agency Network, said the key agencies will be carrying out intervention in that section of the community.

"We will be meeting with residents to see how best they can be given support, especially the children and seniors. The key agencies will include Peace Management Initiative, Victim Support and Restorative Justice, among others," he said.

The Monday-morning calm was interrupted by loud explosions, accompanied by fire, as five houses were set ablaze and burnt to the ground. One resident reported hearing gunshots and then was alerted to fire by her stepfather.

"Mi jump outa mi sleep same time and tek up mi baby. When mi pull mi door and a peep out, mi hear mi stepfather sey, 'Fire! fire!'" reported one resident. She said she fainted about two times during the whole experience, and noted that it has left several residents traumatised.

'Rayvon', another resident from the community, said he came home and saw the fire, but he didn't have an opportunity to get into the house, resulting in everything being lost.

"Mi lose everything, man - mi bed, two computers, dresser, whatnot, everything mi lose, money ... I'm at zero," he said.

The May Pen police are now actively seeking information about the perpetrators.