Friday 24 May, 2019

Spanish Town mom gets house from Supreme Ventures after leaving prison

Food for the Poor house beneficiary, Beverly Foote opens the door of her new two bedroom house for the first time in Irish Pen, Spanish Town, St Catherine on Thursday, July 20. Sharing in the moment are Supreme Ventures AVP, Group Corporate Communications, Simone Clarke-Cooper (left) and FFP Senior Field Officer, Lorenzo Stanton.

Food for the Poor house beneficiary, Beverly Foote opens the door of her new two bedroom house for the first time in Irish Pen, Spanish Town, St Catherine on Thursday, July 20. Sharing in the moment are Supreme Ventures AVP, Group Corporate Communications, Simone Clarke-Cooper (left) and FFP Senior Field Officer, Lorenzo Stanton.

Five hours spent doing hard work changed the life of Beverly Foote forever, with the end result being a home for Foote and her family.

The house was built in the community of Irish Pen in Spanish Town, St Catherine, on Thursday, July 20. The labour of love was carried out through a partnership between Supreme Ventures Limited and Food for the Poor (FFP).

Foote, who was formerly incarcerated at the Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre, applied for the house while she was still behind bars. She said that even though she was serving time, she was still responsible for her eight children who lived in the structure that was on the land previously.

The team from Supreme Ventures Limited poses with Food for the Poor house beneficiary, Beverly Foote in front of the completed structure after a long day’s work 

“It was a very difficult time for me and my family. I was incarcerated for some years and I left my kids here. When I came back, the place was rotten down and they were still living in there," Foote said.

"Their father was here with them but he never took care of them. I had to get my children into school from prison, send letters to the schools because he was not helping,” she said, adding that her family has grown to include 10 grandchildren with another on the way. 

The house built on July 20 is one of five that Supreme Ventures’ $3 million contribution to the mission will facilitate.

“Our hearts were so full when we gave to, and then got the chance to work on making this project a reality,” said Simone Clarke-Cooper, AVP, Group Corporate Communication at SVL.

“I think I can speak for everyone on our team when I say the experience was life changing. We left feeling fulfilled, and blessed to have worked with a fantastic and committed team from Food For the Poor,” she added.

‎Development & Marketing Manager at Food For The Poor Jamaica, Marsha Burrell, said Supreme Ventures’ coming onboard as a contributor was serendipitous.

“When I saw that Supreme Ventures had come onboard as a sponsor, literally tears came to my eyes. It was just at the right time. We use the proceeds from the Food for the Poor 5K [Walk/Run] to build the houses and we’ve constructed 150 houses so far. Most of our funding comes from overseas so SVL’s contribution was very special,” she said.

“It takes so little to give a family a home and it’s so much easier for persons who want to contribute to work with an organization that is equipped like Food for the Poor,” Burrell said.

She added that in addition to the donations, FFP encourages donors to get involved in the actual construction of the homes as a team building exercise, just as the SVL team had done.  

A small contingent of volunteers trekked to the community of Irish Pen in branded bright yellow shirts that drew stares from curious onlookers. The group was split up into teams that were assigned duties ranging from painting and window assembly to the indispensable task of hammering.

Members of the Supreme Ventures team worked alongside persons from Food for the Poor and the workmen on site. Foote was also a part of the workforce, diligently painting the wooden panels that would form the walls of her two bedroom home.

By two o’clock that afternoon, Foote and her family were receiving the keys to a sunshine yellow house with white and red trim from Clarke-Cooper.

“We are going to give you these keys knowing that God is going to continue to bless you, and that you will continue to live here happily ever after,” she said. 

“In that moment when I handed over the keys, I got goosebumps when I thought of the significance of what I was about to do, and what SVL had done in this woman’s life," Clarke-Cooper said.

 She added, "When we looked into Miss Bev’s eyes and saw what it meant to her, the team was moved beyond words. We came here today and there was nothing. We left Foote moving into a house for her family. There are no words to express how good we feel!” 

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