Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Devon basks in the joy of owning his own home

Published:Saturday | February 25, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Linda Wood of the painting crew focuses on the job at hand.
These volunteers demonstrate their skill at mixing mortar.
Volunteers on the go as they try to finish this house.
Devon Campbell is distracted by something inside his new two-bedroom house in Free Town, Portland Cottage.
Susan James (second right) in deep conversation with a man at a work site in Wildman Town, Portland Cottage, while a woman listens in and a curious little boy checks out the labelling on a can of sunblock.

Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer

DEVON CAMPBELL just can't wait for the keys to his two-bedroom house in Portland Cottage, Clarendon!

"Man, mi feel great! Is a great feeling fi own a house because at this present time, mi no know when mi would own a house because mi caan wuk fi buy one," he told The Gleaner last Sunday.

He was among a group of people across Portland Cottage selected by Food For The Poor (FFTP) to receive a total of 13 two-bedroom and eight one-bedroom houses in the community. The houses were built on land owned or legally occupied by the beneficiaries by a team of 53 American volunteers working under the direction of FFTP contractors. The work group was divided into three teams: masonry, construction, and painting.

Campbell's house was almost completed, awaiting the installation of bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and even though there was no electricity yet, the 31-year-old fisherman was eagerly looking forward to moving in, pointing to the difference it would make for his family.

"Mi girlfriend live with her mother. She just a gwaan stay deh so. That's why mi even glad mi get this because now mi family can come together," he said.

"She lives a good likkle distance, man. Now mi happy she can come live comfortable because this is a big start."

In addition to his girlfriend, who is expecting a baby, and their 11-year old daughter, Devon is planning to have other members of his family live with them.

Temporary home

The fisherman said he now stays at a friend's house, but this is a temporary situation since he will need to move when the owner returns. His girlfriend lives far away, and so travelling to visit is time consuming and expensive. He was on hand to help the people building his house over the two days and was happy with the final outcome.

In addition to two bedrooms, there is a loft which can be converted to a child's bedroom, a living/dining area, a bathroom with toilet and shower, a kitchenette, and a small verandah. For the struggling fisherman, it's his dream house, and he was very grateful to Joe Mahfood of FFTP, as well as his aunt and uncle, who gave him permission to build on family land.

Photos by Christopher Serju