J-FLAG is embarking on a residential behaviour-change project that caters to the rehabilitation needs of MSM who have been displaced and made homeless because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It is envisioned that this project will include both a drop in and a residential component.
Activities include but are not limited to; provide housing for displaced MSM youth as part of a structured programme, Conduct training sessions in Personal Development, Basic Literacy & Numeracy & Income generating skills, Provide Counseling support for reintegration into families where possible, Provide Support to youth transitioning from state care, Engage existing national social support agencies, NGO’s & CBO’s providing Medical Care, Counseling, Housing, Skill Training to support reintegration process.
In this regard, J-FLAG is seeking to hire a Project Officer. The Project Officer is responsible for administrative components of a residential behaviour-change project that caters to the rehabilitation needs of MSM who have been displaced and made homeless because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The ideal candidate is the leader of a team that has the responsibility of managing the administrative aspects of an intervention in which all members, residents and staff alike, have the opportunity to create and utilise every opportunities to grow and develop.
Reporting to the Executive Director (ED), the Project Officer is responsible for getting the project started, managing the effective start up and roll out of the intervention, monitoring and evaluation of project, proposal writing for sub-programme development and its continuity. The incumbent must demonstrate flexibility and the ability to work on one’s own initiative.
the original homeless men which included older displaced persons from before 2007 plus persons who had to flee western Jamaica that same year to Kingston after a gay party DVD unfortunately found its way into the public domain who were part of a previous pilot project known as the Safe House Project that was launched by a previous Executive Director the J's parent organization Jamaica AIDS Support for Life who presided over the shelter who has since resigned but due to so called rowdy behaviour and uncaring executives who threw out the men back onto the street in 2009 which then led to a tense 1 year situation which culminated in a stand off at the offices of 4 Upper Musgrave Avenue on August 23 and 24 2011 that not even the crisis intervention manager at the time nor the Executive Director of JFLAG could cool down, it took the very ED then who was forced to resign during the ugly episode at the time under dubious circumstances and another community influential to calm the flaring tempers that afternoon with the police. All kinds of damage control retorts were used in an attempt to sweep the issue away or divert those watching the issue closely in the print media including the blame game dropping the care of homeless msms at the feet of the government when we know fully well that is not going to happen anytime soon.
The men have been basically blacklisted by the LGBT community on a whole and with tacit approval by the agencies themselves and their apologists with flimsy excuses that they have attempted to assist the men despite the experts in the field who ought to know antecedence to so called rowdy behaviour and bearing in mind no proper sustained resident pyscho social support services were in place to address the populations at the time. The men are still on the streets to this very day and have been facing all kinds of issues (some of their own making) but the community has turned our backs on them describing them as eyesores and embarrassments to them. The few influentials and individuals who tried to intervene could only do so much as resources are scarce and the expertise to deal with anti social behaviours are not present.
Obviously the ideas floated by others were taken into account for the project as we well know that announcements do not neccesarilty translate into real meaningful long term activity as previous history has brought to bear. The other persons who have tried with scholarship programs are laudible but when there is only an announcement and no proper accountability on the parts of the benefactor of the said scholarships and the grantor of same as many complaints have come in before when persons chosen end up not getting the awards or the benefactors do not complete the respective courses thus waisting the money and effort to make it happen.
Let us not forget the previous civil disobedience action taken on January 27, 2010, see more here: MSM employ Civil Disobedience to get Board's Attention ....
The migration of other displaced MSMs from predominantly western Jamaica due to the lotto scamming crackdown by the police this year along with profiling associated with a strong perception that many gay men were involved in the illegal trade is also causing some unease in Kingston and indeed other parishes, as one traverses the streets at night at the regular hangout spots in Kingston it is clear the faces are new and inexperienced in terms of navigating the streets. This and other blogs are replete with instances of the problems the men have been facing everything from beatings to stonings to murder as committed by one of their own and which was paraded as a homophobic incident by some groups but the move was thwarted by a smart journalist and others who spotted the intellectual dishonesty regarding the specific matter of the June 13th double murder that was carried on most media outlets.
more on the actual 2011 happenings as recorded then:
The men did not arrive at the so called rowdy behaviour mentality overnight bearing in mind the Safe House Pilot Project was closed in 2009 to now getting involved in criminal activity with reported robberies of other LGBT persons in New Kingston by the NCB ATM machine on Knutsford Boulevard late last year and other attempted robberies in the Half Way Tree area and a subsequent beating of a man who was leaving a performing arts property nearby. The Police in the community have called for some urgent intervention as they say they cannot handle the issues anymore especially with one particular person who is in custody for a stabbing incident earlier this year.
also see from June 2009 and February 2010 and June 2011 which included one of the party DVD victims and drag queen who had to leave her clothing behind:
Gay Party DVD Reveller on the run
Disturbing repeat homophobic abuse clients
Men rushed in New Kingston .... police hold 4
How long must we wait for a proper homeless residential response with a full cadre of psycho social support services therein?
Think it not strange that the very office of JFLAG was once the very Safe House Project's shelter for the homeless men?
Is it that we must always have a pool of homophobic victims that can be dipped into for convenient reports and studies by the powers that be while no serious social interventions to assist these persons to properly recover in time with meaningful results.
We must not forget these things or sweep them under the rug.
also see some concerns from Western Jamaica:
BIG BLOW FOR HOMELESS/DISPLACED MSMS IN WESTERN JAMAICA …..
Some concerns from Western Jamaica on homelessness and homo-negativity
Peace and tolerance
click the "Homeless MSM in Jamaica" tab immediately below for previous entries on the subject