Charities, church labour for homeless, deportees
A woman cleans a window during the Labour Day project on Thursday at the Open Arms Drop-In Centre along Windward Road in Kingston. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)
Street People Liberation Charity, Greatness In Action Family and Transform Life Church Missions Ministry collaborated in a holistic Labour Day project on Thursday at the Open Arms Drop-In Centre along Windward Road in Kingston.
The centre's residents were fed by Street People Liberation Charity and Greatness In Action Family, while Transform Life Church Mission Ministry refurbished the kitchen.
Open Arms Drop-In Centre is a shelter for homeless people and also serves as a holding place for deportees who are sent back to the island and have no family support.
Shian Outer, a project coordinator at Street People Liberation Charity, said over 100 meals were served Thursday at the centre to the approximately 60 individuals who stay there on a temporary basis and other less fortunate people who dropped in to partake.
She said the project is in line with the charity's mission to kill poverty in the region.
She said, "we are all about helping persons, giving back and we came out today because we felt that persons are going to be there and will not be enjoying their holiday, so we wanted to give back to our community."
Outer said the project was undertaken with the assistance of donations from members of the organisation, Jamaica Broilers, Tewanca Water and Food For The Poor.
Cordene Henry, minister leader for Transform Life Church Missions Ministry, said the church has been working with Open Arms for a number of years and decided to tackle the kitchen at the facility this year.
Henry said, "today we are rehabilitating the kitchen, which is one of our outreach mission activities. They also use the kitchen for catering so we are saying, if you are going to use it as a rehabilitation tool, let us help you to do that."
Henry said that the church also carries out Christian activities with the residents and drop-ins of the facility, which include praise and worship, "a little sermon" and a discipleship Bible study group
She made a plea for the Jamaicans to stop stigmatising deportees.
"There is a stigma attached to deportees so we are trying to help them to shake off that stigma and become normal citizens. So we are even looking to do skills training programme to enhance them," Henry said.