Kingston JPs build thrift shop for Open Arms on Labour Day
Open Arms Drop-In Centre provides food and shelter to the homeless. (Photo: Marlon Reid)
The Kingston Chapter of the Lay Magistrate Association of Jamaica toiled vigorously on Thursday to set up a 40-foot container and a vegetable garden that will assist Open Arms Drop-In Centre in Kingston in becoming self-reliant.
President of the Kingston Chapter, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Euken Mills, said the container will serve as a thrift shop and storage area, while the garden will provide vegetables for the facility.
Open Arms Drop-In Centre provides food and shelter to the homeless. It also serves as a holding place for deportees, who are sent back to the island without family support.
Mills said: “ The aim of it is basically to provide ongoing support to Open Arms, which we look at with admiration because what they do is in sync with our mandate as Justices of The Peace - to make a difference to the people as a whole.”
He said the JPs said the thrift shop will help some the beneficiaries of Open Arms to earn an income. Both projects will be fully operated by the management of Open Arms.
Work on the project first started three weeks ago, with cutting out of doors and windows, insulation, inner roofing and shelves. Finishing touches were done on Labour Day.
“We know it will make a difference because we have been working with Open Arms for a number of years. This is our third Labour Day project (with them), so we understand their needs and we know what to do to enhance the environment and we are sure that the thrift store will put them in a better position."
Former president of Kingston Lay Magistrates, Dr Paulette McGregor.
The preparation on the garden also started three weeks prior, with the Lay Magistrates using Thursday to plant seedling and seeds, which will provide cash crops for the facility.
Personal donations, as well as organisations that the Lay Magistrates are associated with provided funding for the project.
Former president of Kingston Lay Magistrates, Dr Paulette McGregor, said that clothing and other personal items were also provided on Thursday for the drop-ins at the facility.