Wed | May 18, 2022

Help for homeless

Published:Wednesday | May 5, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Hi neighbour! 'If more people would put themselves in the place of more people, more people would be helped by more people and far more people would be happy with far more people.'

Helping others is more about a caring heart than material resources. There are thousands of persons who possess much of this world's wealth and pass by the needy with hardly a glance. In the same breath, there are many persons who live on a shoestring budget but do so much to help others. Thank God for these persons - may they never lack anything.

Three days ago, Paula called me in a fit. She is a concerned young lady who faces a dilemma. She is getting a little assistance but needs more help. A young lady was seen sitting somewhere in St Catherine with a cute little two-year-old. As she enquired about their welfare, it was discovered that they were both hungry and homeless and had gone in search of assistance from an acquaintance in the area.

Touched by this need, Paula invited both strangers home, where they were welcomed by the family. After feeding them, they were offered a night's rest on the family couch. How neighbourly!

The following day, Paula contacted another family to see whether they could offer the young mother and her child a more sustainable accommodation. The family was reluctant to open their home to these strangers, considering the safety risk.

However, when they heard the story of the 24-year-old and her young child, they had a change of heart and offered to accommodate them for three months, which would have allowed her enough time to get back on her feet.

Fear of one another has done so much injury to the spirit of neighbourliness that it's going to take a united effort, coupled with divine intervention and some big risks, to restore this tradition in every nook and cranny of our society. Whatever it takes, let's do it. There is all to gain! It begins by thinking about the next person as much as you think about yourself.

The young lady had been abandoned by her mother at a tender age and spent most her life in a foster home where she got very little schooling. At age 18, she was evicted from the home because she was now required to pay her way, but was unable to. After a short stint on the streets, she located an aunt who offered her accommodation. Home was not homely. There was one bed on which seven of them had to sleep.

After a short while, the young lady became too burdensome for the family and suffered another eviction. This time, she met a young man who offered her accommodation at his mother's home in the country. As a natural progression, he struck up a relationship with her, which ended when she became pregnant for him. The next ordeal was a tirade of abuse which sent her packing.

It was on one of those occasions, while she was bouncing from one place to another, that Paula saw her. The young lady needs help to grow and become a person of worth. She needs to go back to school. She needs a permanent place of abode along with clothing and food for herself and child. She earns a small amount weekly, most of which is spent on travelling. Let's put ourselves in her place and help.

Meanwhile, please see other opportunities below to help your neighbours.

Thanks to these neighbours

1. Georgette, for donating a walker to Mrs Clarke.

2. Many thanks to Olga, Trelawny, for planning a fund-raising event for children with disabilities, including David's three who were mentioned in this column recently.

3. Patsy, Clarendon, for offering a bed base to Estriana, a 69-year-old who badly needed one.

4. Linda, St Andrew, offering shoes and clothing to Sharon's four children.

5. Ms Tyrell, St Andrew, for a financial contribution to Hello Neighbour.

6. Thanks to Miss Clarke from Alka Vida for supplying alkaline drinking water to her neighbour.

Opportunities to help neighbours

1. Sophia, St Catherine, mother of two; her husband passed away. She needs a bed and somewhere to live.

2. Ms Barrant, 42, St Andrew, needs a wheelchair.

3. Patricia, Portland, single mother of seven children, including two sets of twins; desperately in need of food, clothing, help with schooling.

4. Anthony, a blind man in St Ann, needs a water tank.

5. Celia, diabetic; just completed course in cosmetology and in need of table for manicuring.

6. Annette, mother of five, St Ann; no support from their father. Asking for chickens to rear to help with children's schooling.

7. Jennifer has to stay home with her mother who suffered a stroke in 2009. Needs help to send her children to school.

8. Hosi, St Catherine, is disabled; house destroyed by fire - lost everything. Requesting a second-hand freezer to sustain sales of bagged juice.

9. Tanya, mother of six, St Andrew; her husband died last year. She got burnt out and is in need of sheets, curtains and bed.

10. Maureen, who is wheelchair mobile, is asking for a sewing machine.

11. Roshane, visually impaired, and wants to complete his education; seeking financial assistance from neighbours.

12. Vinnette, St Andrew, has to travel long distances in wheelchair. She's asking neighbours for two dry-cell batteries to help make life a little more comfortable.

To help, call 906-3167, 884-3866, 373-7745 or 299-3412; or email and we will make the link. Those who desire to help us with our financial obligations may make deposits to account 351 044 276 at the National Commercial Bank (bank routing password: JNCBJMKX); or send donations to Hello Neighbour, c/o 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10.