A chorus of complaints regarding abandonment and neglect is coming out of west Kingston as residents claim the State has failed to provide the social assistance promised after the hell they went through, just over two years ago.
The residents, some of whom openly defied the State two years ago, are now urging the authorities to remember them in their time of need.
According to the residents, their greatest desire is for employment opportunities to ease the burden of the thousands among them who are languishing in abject poverty.
When The Sunday Gleaner visited sections of west Kingston last week, people lazed idly in the community with nothing to do, the police vehicles rolled by and the once vibrant Tivoli Gardens was a distorted shadow of itself.
Among the scores of complaining residents, in Tivoli Gardens was 22-year-old Kirk, who trudged through the community with a bulk of DVDs he was trying to sell.
Kirk poured his heart out as he recounted his struggles to make ends meet. He said he has stayed clear of a life of crime and has tried his hands at just about everything - from pig farming to higglering.
"We really need some factories and industries in the place because young people who just left school, as well as elder people can't get anything to do. (They need) a daily routine job to ensure that at the end of the week, they have a salary," suggested Kirk .
More sellers than buyers
He said there is a glut of sellers in the market in downtown Kingston, where he can be found almost daily plying his wares.
"There are many more sellers than buyers, so the market industry kind of sticky as we don't have the opportunity to achieve certain things at the end of the week, we have to be pushing things on people ... and you have to be trying to sell some things that are not selling, so you make little out of nothing."
Kirk was supported by an elder man who operates a business establishment metres from the police-military post in Tivoli Gardens.
"The people need some employment, they need something to occupy their time, too many people sitting around with nothing to do and that's a problem," said the elderly man, who did not give his name.
Sixty-eight-year-old Bernice Frazer walks with a noticeable limp, caused by a gunshot wound to her foot.
As a vendor, Frazer sells snacks between the Mel Nathan Primary and the Chetolah Park Primary schools, located on Williams Street in Hanna Town.
She told The Sunday Gleaner that she cares for two grandchildren - the daughter of a wayward mother and the son of a father who died at sea in March 2012.
Frazer said despite her travails, her application for benefits under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) for the two children was denied. "What am I to do?" she asked. "See the gunshot wound to my leg, are they to starve?"
A spate of fires in west Kingston - seven within a month - have added to the grief being borne by the people of the community as they wrestle to make the best of a rough life.
Charges of abandonment, neglect and malicious spite echoed last week from the lips of the old and the young.
For the people of west Kingston, absolutely nothing is happening in the communities, no matter if they live in the governing People's National Party strongholds of Hannah Town and Matthew's Lane or the Jamaica Labour Party monopolies of Tivoli Gardens and Denham Town.
"The State have out the poor, you have about 10 people from Highway who don't live anywhere," said Deebo, a well-known business figure in Tivoli Gardens.
"They lost their homes when the 'plane' bombed them out of a four- storey building," Deebo declared as he, like many other residents of west Kingston, hang on to their claim that the community was subject to aerial bombardment, despite the denials of the security forces .
"Some of them are my in-laws, they don't live anywhere."
Deebo was supported by a middle-aged man who operates a business in proximity to the police-military base in the community.
"My little business place is right here, me nuh go round and create nuh problem, everybody a support peace and calm. But unemployment is the biggest thing, the youth in the community just siddung, and them say the devil find work for idle hands ... this is the biggest problem as people are trying to get themselves back together."