Rutgers and UVM Furnishings Supply a Jamaica Housing Project

The Peace Maker’s Community Housing Redevelopment Project also referred to as ‘Spring Pass’ by the residents is located in the Hampstead community, in Yallahs, St. Thomas, Jamaica.  Similar to other rural communities across the island, this area comprises mainly individuals from a very low socio-economic background. Professional employment is almost non-existent so individuals are forced to venture outside to community to find jobs. Those who are fortunate enough to find some form of employment are domestic workers, street vendors and security guards.

Prior to Food For The Poor’s assistance, there was almost no form of proper living conditions for the residents. Thanks to our Donors’ generosity, we were able to build homes for and change the lives of 27 families (2 more than projected).  Food For The Poor homes in Jamaica are built on a cement foundation, framed with wood panels, and sheltered with zinc roofs.  All homes include a residential sanitation facility (comprising a personal flushable toilet and a shower unit) to address the lack of proper sanitation.  A 200 gallon household water tank is also installed to enable families to store a supply of water.  This will save long, arduous trips each morning – generally made by the children or women – to collect enough water to meet the family’s daily needs.

In addition to brand new two bedroom homes equipped with solar lightings, sanitation and water components, these residents also benefitted from furnishings from IRN.

Altheia Dennis lives with four of her children.  “In the past, the few pieces of furniture I had were infested with termites and falling to pieces….   Thank you all very much. I pray that God’s richest blessings will continue to flow on you, giving you the strength to do the good work that you are doing. In fact, my thanks to you extend beyond my heart.”

59-Year-old Deloris Bowen lives with her three children.  “Even the smallest task of providing food for the family is hard. At times, we have absolutely nothing to eat for days.  We lived in a small room that leaked all over when it rained. I would set pots and pans to try and catch some of the water, but water came through the sides and floors. I tried using old cloths to soak up the water from our mattress. Yes, we needed a proper roof over our heads, we needed to sleep on dry and comfortable beds at night but we didn’t have such things…   My children and I are so proud these days when we relax on our new beds or gather around the table. They are very comfortable and we really love them.”

Forty-year-old Mitzie Bogle was living in an old, shaky house with her children. “Oh my God, we were living in a very horrible condition. My house leaked heavily when it rained. I had more pans and buckets placed in the house than furniture.…  I had a bed that I was using for a very long time that now had a hole like a sink in it. I used cardboard and old cloths to stuff under the mattress as a means of providing some form of comfort for my back…  I remember clearly the very first night my children and I moved into our new home. We slept so comfortably.”  Speaking of her 7-year-old daughter, Theresa, Mrs. Bogle said: “As soon as we placed the desks in the living room she just took up her books and sat around the desks. Most of her time at home is now spent around that desk studying and doing her homework.”

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